A local government reporter has celebrated his 40th anniversary with the same newspaper series.
Ian Austen joined the Croydon Advertiser as a 19-year-old trainee and has since worked as chief reporter, education correspondent, news editor (twice), political reporter and now local government and business correspondent, either in Croydon or on sister editions in Sutton and Caterham.
The 59-year-old was given a special framed citation as a surprise personal ‘thank-you’ from the mayor of Croydon, Coun Margaret Mead, during a recent full council meeting (left).
Ian said: “I was somewhat taken aback – I cannot remember seeing it being done before so to be recognised for unparalleled service to local government was very nice.
“I have a great love of local government and I feel it’s being undermined by central government. It’s vitally important that you have a local government reporter.
“I know a lot of the youngsters don’t like doing it as they think it’s dull.”
The mayor’s citation read: “The Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Croydon Councillor Margaret Mead, JP, has resolved that this citation be presented to Mr Ian Austen.
“As a record of the council’s sincere appreciation and high regard for his unparalleled services to local journalism during the course of 40 years’ employment with the Croydon Advertiser Series.”