Tuesday, 21 May 2013

County Council Chairman Fulfils Final Public Duty

Cllr John Powley (Outgoing Chairman)

The Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council has performed his final public duty - handing over to his successor.

Cllr John Powley’s two-year term of office came to an end at the Council’s Annual Meeting today (May 21) when he handed over to Cllr Kevin Reynolds. He was appointed as an Honorary Alderman at the same meeting.

Cllr Powley decided not to stand for re-election to the County Council, bringing to an end nearly 50 years of public service.

As Chairman of the County Council, he has performed over 400 public engagements – most of them accompanied by his wife Jill.

In addition, he has presided over 70 Citizenship ceremonies, welcoming approximately 2000 new citizens into the county. He has sung the National Anthem on each occasion.

He has met most senior members of the Royal family, including welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their first visit to the city in November last year.

Since entering politics in 1967 John, who was one of the two local members for Soham and Fordham Villages, has served as Chairman of the County Council, Leader of Cambridge City Council and MP for Norwich South.

During his time as Leader of the City Council he oversaw the redevelopment of the Kite area in Cambridge and the building of the Grafton Centre.

He was elected to the County Council in 1967 and stood down in 1977 before being re-elected in 1997. During this time he was senior Councillor for social services for eight years, and corporate services - including finance - for two years. He served as Vice Chairman from 2009 before being elected Chairman in 2011.

John served on Cambridge City Council from 1967 to 1979 and was leader from 1976 to 1979.

He was elected MP for Norwich South in 1983 and during his four years in parliament sat on the select committee for Social Services.

John has also taken an active role in local education, being the chair of governors at various times at Manor Community College, Chesterton Community College, and Mayfield Primary School. He has also been a governor of Perse Upper School.

He was also a governor of Soham Village College for 12 years and currently is a governor at Weatheralls Primary School.

John and Jill, who married in 1957 and live in Soham, have three children - Stephen, Amanda and Stewart. The Cambridge born Councillor attended Milton Road Infants and Junior School and the Central School for Boys at Parkside.

He was an apprentice radio and television engineer for Pye Limited before his National Service in the RAF. John then opened his own business John Powley (Radio and Television) Ltd in 1960 which he later sold in 1984.

Cllr Powley, said: “As a Cambridgeshire born resident and businessman, it has been an honour and a privilege to represent and serve the diverse communities we have in the county. After nearly half a century of public service I decided not to stand again in the recent elections, with the intention of spending more time with my wife Jill, who I would like to thank for her great support throughout the years. It will also hopefully give me a chance to get on the golf course a bit more.

“I have been very proud of the achievements I have helped bring to Cambridgeshire and Norwich South over the last 46 years, including developing the Grafton Centre. I have also taken a great interest during my time in Parliament and at the County Council in improving social care and the protection of our most vulnerable residents.”