Healthy Alan retires after 32 years

ALAN Breckon did not go into work on Monday which in itself was unusual. For the past 32 years, he had not missed one day off sick. But he had a very good excuse for his absence – he retired on Friday. Mr Breckon is one of the best-known figures in Letchw

ALAN Breckon did not go into work on Monday which in itself was unusual.

For the past 32 years, he had not missed one day off sick.

But he had a very good excuse for his absence - he retired on Friday.

Mr Breckon is one of the best-known figures in Letchworth GC having spent three decades and more working with residents, architects and planners to preserve the special nature of the town.


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He was the Letchworth area planning officer for North Hertfordshire District Council.

"There has never been a day I didn't want to go to work," said Mr Breckon, who lives with his wife Barbara in the garden city.

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"I have never found anything I would want to do more than my job - I'm meeting members of the public and I've got work mates I can genuinely call friends.

"I haven't got any real ambitions to do anything other than what I've been doing - except play football for England!"

He came to Letchworth GC when local government was reorganised after 10 years working for the county council in Hertford, where he lived. The change turned out to be a lucky one and the family settled happily into their new surroundings.

"I am very privileged. I have been Letchworth area planning officer for about a third of its life and I was at Baldock as well for 25 years," said Mr Breckon.

"I think the principles on which the garden city were founded are as strong as they ever were and they've been adopted as good design across the world."

In recent years the garden city ethos has been challenged by Government requirements to increase the density of housing and part of Mr Breckon's job has been to see how new developments can be accommodated without spoiling the town.

"We've got to balance competing needs for more housing against the needs to keep the garden city. We don't want to wrap the town in cotton wool but we must protect what is good about it," he said.

Mr Breckon, who still plays football regularly with colleagues and enjoys researching his family tree, is confident that Letchworth remains in very capable hands.

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www.north-herts.gov.uk

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