A COMMUNITY group is on the lookout for a new chairperson and vice-chairperson after both announced they were stepping down.

Chris McEwan, who is at the helm of Haddington and District Community Council, confirmed at the group’s virtual meeting this month that he would not be seeking re-election.

Since the meeting, Pat Lemmon, who was vice-chairwoman, has confirmed she has stepped down with immediate effect.

Mr McEwan said: “I’m no longer going to sit as chairman from October. I will be stepping down.

“I no longer have the time to do this in my current job; it is not a position I am quite happy doing anymore.”

Mr McEwan has lived in Haddington for 30 years and had received a promotion in his work as a cloud solution architect.

He told members that he could not strike a balance between his work and the community council, so he was stepping aside.

Summer break

His announcement came as the group takes its annual two-month summer break, with members next meeting in September.

The outgoing chairman took on the role in October 2020 following the departure of long-standing chairwoman Jan Wilson, who had been chair for nearly 25 years.

He told the Courier: “I did say to Pat and the other office-bearers in December that I would have to see how it goes with the job.

“I know there is a lot to be done in my job and I thought I would be able to hang on but it was going to be one of those where the June meeting was going to be the deciding point.

“I needed to give people time to go away and look and see if they wanted to step up.”

'Supporting people'

Mrs Lemmon co-founded the Lammermuir Larder in February last year. The community initiative aims to provide emergency food to people facing crisis.

Mrs Lemmon said: “I want to concentrate on supporting people suffering from food poverty.

“With regards to leaving the community council, I am very sorry to do it but it is the right decision for me.”

Councillor Tom Trotter, who has represented the town on East Lothian Council for 15 years, was previously vice-chairman of the group under Mrs Wilson.

He thanked Mr McEwan, who was also heavily involved in the town’s resilience response to the Covid-19 pandemic, for his efforts over a challenging time.


Mr Trotter said: “All credit to Chris, he has run the community council and had a hard act to follow taking over from Jan.

“That coincided with Covid and everything else.

“He was phenomenal and played a huge part over the Covid period and helping with the recovery.”

Meanwhile, the suspension of Haddington community councillor David Barrett has been extended.

Mr Barrett had been suspended in February for nine meetings for breaches of the community council’s code of conduct.

READ MOREDavid Barrett refuses to leave Haddington community council meeting after suspension

Members agreed at this month’s meeting to add another two meetings to Mr Barrett’s suspension.