Political differences set aside to bid farewell to councillors

POLITICAL differences were put aside as party leaders acknowledged the years of public service given by 17 Swansea councillors who are not standing in May’s local government elections.

Thirteen of them are from the ruling Labour group, including Councillor Des Thomas, who has notched up just under 50 years as an elected member.

The other 12 Labour councillors heading into the political sunset are Gloria Tanner, Nick Davies, Peter Jones, Paulette Smith, Mary Sherwood, Will Evans, Jennifer Raynor, Mark Thomas, Clive Lloyd, Christine Richards, Mark Child and June Burtonshaw.

“You will be a very sad loss to this council,” said Labour leader Rob Stewart.

Also leaving the fray in May are Conservative councillors Linda Tyler-Lloyd and Myles Langstone.

Gareth Sullivan, of Independents@Swansea, and the Uplands party’s Irene Mann, complete the 17 departing members.

Cllr Stewart reeled off a highlights package for his 13 colleagues, several of whom have served at various times as cabinet members.

Cllr Raynor, he said, had overseen the delivery of a number of new schools and also “significant achievements” in the education department.

Cllr Lloyd had been an “outstanding” former deputy leader and “a great advocate” for his St Thomas ward, while Cllr Burtonshaw had represented her constituents for 39 years and served as Lord Mayor of Swansea, among other roles.

She was pipped by Cllr Thomas – another former Lord Mayor – in the long-service stakes. He has clocked up 48 years.

Voters will choose 75 councillors to serve 32 wards in Swansea at the local government elections on May 5.

Liberal Democrat-Independent group leader, Councillor Chris Holley, paid tribute to Cllr Sullivan for his decades of service, and conveyed his warm wishes to Cllrs Thomas and Burtonshaw.

Conservative leader, Councillor Lyndon Jones, thanked all of the retiring councillors.

“We have not always agreed on some things but you have given great service to Swansea,” he said.

Cllr Jones also congratulated Cllrs Tyler-Lloyd and Langstone, of the Conservatives, for what they had done since being elected in 2012 and 2017 respectively.

Uplands party leader, Councillor Peter May, echoed the sentiments of the other speakers and went on to thank his ward colleague, Cllr Mann.

He said she was universally liked across the debating chamber, and had instigated measures in Uplands which were then replicated across Swansea – such as the decorative painting of British Telecom utility boxes.

“I think after her time, the ward has been a much better place,” said Cllr May.

Richard Youle- Local Democracy Reporter

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