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Tributes paid to Stroud District Council’s departing members

Published: Thursday, 3 June, 2021

Long-serving councillors who have represented their communities for decades have been thanked for their hard work and dedication.

At the final Full Council meeting of the civic year Stroud District Council leaders thanked the 19 elected members who chose not to stand for re-election in May.

Kathy O’Leary, SDC’s Chief Executive led the tributes:

“On behalf of the staff at Stroud District Council I’d like to thank all councillors for their public service during their term of office. This last year has been particularly challenging for all of us, and I’m really grateful for the support you’ve given to our communities and to the council staff.”

 The Labour, Green and Conservative group leaders then thanked members of their own group who were not standing for re-election. No Liberal Democrat members stood down.

Cllr Doina Cornell, Leader of the council and Labour group leader thanked the departing Labour members, and gave thanks to Stroud District Council’s Chair Cllr Gary Powell:

“You’ve done an absolutely astounding and sterling job chairing through Zoom which must become of the most challenging things, and you’ve done it with style.”

She paid tribute to former Leader Cllr Steve Lydon’s cross party work on the Local Plan and for being “such a rock for this council, and always a source of fantastic advice. Steve has contributed so much it’s hard to know how to summarise it; he was a great example for me to follow.”

Cllr Martin Whiteside, Leader of the Green group who himself chose not to stand for re-election, reflected on his 19 years in office:

“We’ve got some really amazing officers in the council, so a heartfelt thank you to all of you. I think many people outside the council would be surprised how much cross party work goes on between councillors - this is important. I would like to thank my fellow leaders, Stephen and Ken, and particular thanks to Doina. It is not easy leading an alliance of strong willed and opinionated people, Doina you have done it with real skill and integrity – thank you.”

He thanked the departing Green party councillors, including “father of the house” Cllr John Marjoram who had served as the member for Stroud Central for 34 years and was the first Green party councillor in the UK to be elected to an upper tier authority in England, and Cllr Simon Pickering who, as Chair of the Environment Committee “has overseen many of the environmental policies for which Stroud has become so well known nationally and internationally.”

Cllr Stephen Davies, Leader of the Conservative group acknowledged departing Conservative members, including former council Leader Chas Fellows, and made a special mention of former members Penny Wride and Liz Peters who both passed away during their term of office.

As a token of appreciation each councillor who stood down, as well as those who lost their seats in the May election, received a glass paperweight engraved with the Stroud District Council logo.

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