Monday, 9 May 2011
All three sitting Councillors in the western part of Grimsby (two Liberal Democrat and one independent) have lost their places to Labour replacements. It is part of a swing which has made Labour the main party for the first time since the mammoth clear out following the Council’s major financial crisis eight years ago, and perhaps returns North East Lincolnshire to what outsiders might expect the ‘normal’ situation to be.
From a selfish local point of view, it is sad and a little disquieting to see people go with whom we had built a significant relationship and understanding. Dave Boylen in the Freshney Ward (covering half of this parish) understood and was encouraging about our plans for St Nicolas’. Les Bonner in the Yarborough Ward (covering the other half) had made a particular financial and personal commitment to the Littlecoates Community Centre. And Peter Barker in the West Marsh Ward (in our neighbouring parish) had been an independent Councillor for over thirty years and was an ally when Inspiring Communities was brought to the West Marsh Forward which he chaired.
But this parish has acquired two new Councillors of similar quality and with lots of experience. Ray Sutton (Freshney) has been a particular effective chair of the Forward group for the Park Ward in which he lives. Peter Wheatley (Yarborough), who took a Council seat by just sixteen votes, has many previous years experience on the local Council, and he now represents the Ward in which he lives. We will have to buckle down and begin building a new working relationship with them.
Meanwhile, I took this photograph at St Michael’s this morning at a grave in which we were about to bury the cremated remains of the 103 year old widow of the man for whom it was first dug forty-six years ago; the family found the combination of the tree and the sun quite as striking as I did, as well as the thought that she would have been five before building began on the major part of the church on which the grave looks and thus almost the last person left who would have been able to see the north wall of the old church instead.