A vote of thanks to Brian Fitch and David Smith

Each week I will be writing a small Opinion column for the Brighton Argus. This is the text of today’s column (5th May 2015):

This time next week it will all be over. We will know the results of all the elections. The freshly elected Prime Minister will be working in Downing Street and the new administration in Brighton and Hove will be getting down to business.

On the other hand, deadlock might exist, locally and nationally. Deal or no deal? Confusion might reign.

But today I would like to pay tribute to two long-standing councillors who won’t be re-elected. Brian Fitch and David Smith have been part of the fabric of the local political scene since the 1970s. Both have served as Mayor, in Brian’s case, twice. Both have been tireless public servants. But both have now decided to call it a day.

For me it is almost the end of an era. With the retirement of Brian and David, there remains just one councillor, Geoffrey Theobald, with whom I served when I was elected as a councillor in 1985.

I didn’t have the stamina to serve for thirty years or more. My former colleagues might say I lacked the party discipline to survive. It does take huge dedication to serve for for as long as Brian and David.

Politicians are often unjustifiably criticised, but most are selfless servants who receive inadequate recognition. For all those standing down, for those who might lose their seats, to those who are standing for election, you deserve our praise and appreciation. To Brian Fitch and David Smith, from me, a special vote of thanks.

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