A long-standing councillor who has twice served as mayor of her town is stepping down after 24 years of service.

Mrs Lynn Pratt, 75, attended her final full meeting of Bicester Town Council on Monday, March 13, where she spoke passionately about some of the issues affecting Bicester, including how the town needs to maintain its fair trade status and how housing developers must provide at least 30 per cent affordable housing.

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Speaking to this paper, Mrs Pratt shared how she got her start in politics: “I was born in Lancashire, and I got involved with the local conservative party over there.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Lynn Pratt. Photo credit: Bicester Town CouncilCouncillor Lynn Pratt. Photo credit: Bicester Town Council (Image: Bicester Town Council)

“I went out delivering leaflets but I had a small child then so didn’t run in elections.

“I came to Bicester in 1998 and again became involved with the local conservative branch, I decided to run in the elections and despite being told by a councillor at the time that “I won’t win”, I won and sat on the town council.

The retired surgery senior receptionist, who is also a trustee of a number of charities around Bicester and Banbury, has served as mayor twice in the last 20 years.

She said: “I was mayor from 2004 to 2005 and 2014 to 2015; being mayor was such a proud moment for me, I only wish my parents had been alive to see it.

“When you are mayor of a town you realise how much is done in that town by volunteers, and that struck me most of all.

“Scouts, guides, football teams, charity shops, health and care charities, none of these things would be possible without the brilliant volunteers we have.

Mrs Pratt reflected on how Bicester has changed since she moved there: “Bicester has seen immense growth over the years.

“As such, it has attracted a lot of people who want to live close to London without paying London prices for housing.

“However, those people are commuting out of town for work, so they don’t get involved in the ongoings of the town very much, I would like to see more people who live in Bicester getting involved in the town.”

Speaking on her time on the town council, she said: “I enjoy the politics, I got to know so many people once I joined the council.

“It opened up a whole new social side for me too. The other town councillors are all friends. 

“While I’ve enjoyed it, it’s time for me to go. It’s been a privilege to represent the people I have represented.”

Mrs Pratt also commented on the council’s strong relationship with the military in the town, she is proud to have worked closely with the armed forces through Armed Forces Day, mayoral services and parades.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1