THE chairman of Hartley Wintney Parish Council has stepped down after seven years in the post.

Councillor Dorothy Harvey, pictured, made the announcement at the latest council meeting, but said she would remain as a parish councillor.

Other members of the parish council voted her to become vice-chairman, replacing Cllr Cathy Roberts, who in turn became chairman.

Cllr Harvey said: “It has been a brilliant seven years, but I think seven years as chairman is enough.

“I have enjoyed it thoroughly. It has been extremely exciting and we have led the way with some new exciting projects.”

Cllr Harvey thanked Leah Coney, the parish clerk, for her help.

Under Cllr Harvey, the parish council has won the Parish and Town Council for Member Development last year, making it one of the leading parish councils in Hampshire.

Its community transport scheme, which includes a commuter minibus service from the village to Winchfield railway station, has also recently received praise.

During her time, the parish council also spent £90,000 on a graveyard extension at St Mary’s Church, in Church Lane.

She was also chairman when much-loved parish clerk Pat Vaughan died in 2009 at the age of 57 after battling liver and kidney cancer.

Cllr Harvey later read out details of Mr Vaughan’s will, in which he gave the parish council nearly £44,000 for the upkeep of the community orchard in Hunts Common.

New chairman Cllr Roberts said: “I feel very honoured to accept this especially following in such fantastic footsteps.”