New town clerk takes over the reins at Battle council

A NEW clerk has taken the reins at Battle Town Council, following the departure of former clerk Peter Mills.

Julia Cuppini took over during the summer following Peter’s decision to retire after 13 years in the role.

Julia worked as a charted surveyor for a number of years before she decided to make the jump into politics.

She joined the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), an organisation that represents and supports owners of land and businesses in rural communities.

Julia spent 15 years at the CLA, which provided the perfect grounding for her next job as the new Battle town clerk.

Julia said: “I have always been interested in the democratic process and I wanted to stay local.

“I think otherwise I would have been off into Europe and London.”

Speaking about her new role, she said: “It’s exactly what I expected.

“I did a lot of research into this role before I applied.

“It was a big change to come out of an industry I was quite well set in, so I had to be sure I was doing the right thing.

“It’s very diverse. I found it a lot easier than it would have been because Peter gave me such a fantastic month’s handover.

“He had such experience and was such a thoroughly lovely person it meant that taking over this role is a bit easier than it would have been coming in cold.”

And if Julia is ever in need of some advice, she can always ask her stepmother - the former mayor of Faversham.

She added: “It was useful hearing her story of what she and the clerk were doing.”

Julia said: “The main bit of the role is making sure the councillors make legally sound decisions in the best interest of the community. That’s the crux of it.

“There are quite a lot of fixed rules we have to work within.”

Julia says she is keen to help bring community groups together and help them to get the best out of Battle.

She is also keen to get young people involved in local politics.

Julia said: “There was a lad who was only nine who rang me from the phonebox near the Abbey at George Meadow.

“He was with a friend and they were on their bikes and he saw our number on a board and phoned and asked if we could help make a BMX track.

“It would be so nice to help with things like that.

“It seems like such a small thing, but I was so heartened by it.

“We have such a responsibility as adults towards children that show interest and encouraging that.”

Julia was brought up in Kent and has spent much of her working life in Kent and Sussex.

She lives in Broad Oak, Heathfield, with husband Giorgio, who runs a small classical music record label, and children Tilly, 7, and Tom, 13.

Julia paid tribute to her husband for his support in her new role, adding: “He’s the cement that holds us together.”