There will be a lot of new faces at Crawley Borough Council next month, as five councillors have decided not to stand for re-election.
The five – Brian Quinn (Lab, Broadfield North), Chris Cheshire (Lab, Bewbush), Nigel Boxall (Con, Maidenbower), Jan Tarrant (Con, Southgate) and Andrew Skudder (Lab, Langley Green) – attended their final full council meeting on Wednesday (April 3).
Cllrs Quinn, Cheshire and Boxall have racked up decades of service between them and are familiar faces on the streets of Crawley.
There were kind words from both sides of the chamber, with Francis Guidera (Con, Tilgate) joking that Chris Cheshire made him ‘quake with fear’, while Brian Quinn was the only person he knew who could ‘walk around Crawley like they own the place’.
He added: “You’re going to have to change your phone number or you’re going to get phone calls for the rest of your life from the residents.”
Leader Peter Lamb agreed, saying Brian seemed to know some one in every street in the town and had ‘one of the best track records of any councillor I’ve seen’.
He added: “To be losing such a fantastic group of people is a real tragedy for the council. They’ve all in their ways contributed immensely to the work this council has done over their time.”
He praised Chris as a ‘long-time advocate for the voluntary groups in the town’ and said she was ‘one of the people who regularly forced us to reconsider approaches, to take into account disabilities that many residents face.”
Of Andrew Skudder, who has been suffering health issues, he said: “Your wise words and frankly common sense have kept me sane at many meetings.
“We wish you all the best of luck in getting well. I really do hope we will see you on the council again in the future.”
Describing Nigel Boxall as ‘a great opponent to have’, he said: “Opposite sides of the house no doubt but I’ve always had a lot of time for you.
“You have always conducted yourself with enormous respect.”
As for Jan Tarrant, who is standing for election in the Northgate & West Green by-election at county level, Peter said: “In your time at the council you’ve managed to show that you can have people from both sides who represent the local community thoroughly and effectively.
“It’s a sad departure to see you go.”