THE man whose appointment on to the town council has provoked political cross fire has spoken of his love for the are he will represent.

Liam Panesh was co-opted on to Hexham Town Council at its meeting on Monday, October 12 and he will represent the Hexham East ward, replacing Coun. Edd Green following his resignation in August.

Usually an election would have been called - but due to the coronavirus pandemic, local elections can not currently take place.

As a result, if an election had been called the space on the town council would have remained unfilled.

However, a letter to the Courant from defeated Labour parliamentary candidate Penny Grennan criticised the appointment for, in her view, being overly political and not in the best interests of the town - but Tory Coun. Panesh has now addressed the claims.

Explaining why he put himself forward to be a councillor, the 43-year-old said: “ I am passionate about Hexham and I am thrilled the Hexham Town Council has shown itself to be inclusive, by taking on a young-ish family man.

“I believe it would be great to see more young men and women on the council team or supporting the activities the council are involved in.

“My wife and I moved to Hexham from Wilmslow, Cheshire.We love Hexham, the town and the people.

“We have visited many times when we didn’t live here and now we are here, we have moved here for the long, long term.

“We have recently adopted a beautiful baby girl, who arrived into our home just before lockdown, so it’s been really a huge mix of emotions.

“I joined the town council so I can help people and businesses in Hexham, be a part of the local activities that make Hexham fun, safe and enjoyable for all.

“I want to ensure our town continues to thrive and have a great vibrancy about it. Hexham really shows itself best when people join together.”

Liam explained that he and his wife had got to know others in the town through their son, Troy and are regular visits to the Abbey.

Liam himself has volunteered to help maintain the new garden, and he and his family are regulars in the local shops.

He added that he was excited to meet more people as a representative of Hexham East.

He continued: “Hexham East is being represented, there are a lot of people and businesses who know me and support me.

“I look forward to meeting a great deal more people, they will know I will respect their views and opinions and they will also know I will voice their concerns with Hexham Town Council.

“I am honoured to be their friend and delighted to be their town councillor.”