THE long-serving chairman of an organisation dedicated to preserving and improving a town in the Maldon district has stepped down after five years in charge.

Don Benson had been the head of the Heybridge Residents’ Association since it was launched in 2014 but decided to stand down a few months ago.

Former vice-chairman David Sargood has now been promoted to replace Mr Benson, while Chris Salmon becomes the association’s deputy chairman.

Speaking about Mr Benson, Mr Sargood said: “I’m sure everyone would like to thank him for the hard work he has put in and for taking the association forward.

“I had been vice-chairman for some time and so it has fallen to me to meet the challenge of taking the helm, but please support us in the coming year in any way you can as we’re here for you and don’t be afraid to get involved.’’