Woodhall Spa and Wragby councillor calls time on career

Coun Denis Hoyes (second left) at one of the many functions he has attended during the last 40 years
Coun Denis Hoyes (second left) at one of the many functions he has attended during the last 40 years

He’s met The Queen two or three times and is one of the longest serving county councillors in the country.

However, Denis Hoyes has confirmed he will not be contesting the Woodhall Spa and Wragby ward in next month’s County Council elections.

At the age of 88 - and after 40 years’ service for the Conservatives - he says he has ‘done his bit.’

Coun, or Mr Hoyes as he will soon be known, told the News: “I’ve enjoyed my time but nothing lasts forever and I’m looking forward to my retirement.

“I’d like to think I’ve done a good job. I’ve always tried to help people - when I can.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, especially in Woodhall Spa - and not always what I would have liked.

“But by and large, I can look back on the 40 years and say I helped make a difference.”

Coun Hoyes admits the highlight was receiving the MBE in 2o11.

He travelled to Buckingham Palace and was presented with the award by The Queen.

He explained: “I’ve met The Queen two or three times and getting the MBE was the proudest day of my life. I’ve managed another few years since, but at 88, I think I’ve done my bit.”

Coun Hoyes was chairman of the County Council during testing spells when the county boundaries were set.

He can also recall the arrival of the district councils adding: “At one time, I don’t think any of them were speaking to us!”

He believes a one-tier system of local government is inevitable but won’t happen for some time.

He added: “I was on all sorts of committees but in later years, I’ve been a backbencher which was a bit frustrating.”

Coun Hoyes was particularly keen on drainage and flooding issues. He campaigned for Horncastle’s flood defences for 35 years.

A retired farmer, he had hoped one of his sons would continue the family tradition but he wasn’t selected.

Coun Hoyes said: “I’ve had marvellous support from officers and locals. I think I’m getting out at the right time. They’ve taken so many powers away from county. It’s sad.”