Peter Thirlwall’s letter published this week in the Advertiser provides us with pen portraits of the past leaders of RMBC.
Views on our leaders
“Since the formation of Rotherham Council in 1974, there have been four different leaders. I have known all of them and would like to share with your readers my personal opinion of them.
The first was Jack Layden. I wasn’t too fond of Jack but have to admit that he was a crafty old fox and a real political operator.
The second was Keith Billington. He was capable, honest and ran the council in an open and transparent way. In my opinion, he is the best leader we have had.
The third was Mark Edgell. He was probably the brightest of the lot but unfortunately did not have Rotherham at his heart.
Last but not least we have Roger Stone. Compared with his predecessors Roger is the worst leader we have had by a country mile. Roger seems to have all the bad points of the other leaders and none of the good points. Roger has no political vision, is secretive and none too bright. He survives by patronage and limiting his opposition by surrounding himself with a weak cabinet.
If Sue Ellis had succeeded in becoming leader in 2003, and she very nearly did, what a different sort of council we would have now. Unlike Roger, Sue would have had all the good points of the previous leaders and none of the bad. At least we are lucky enough to have her as a councillor for Wickersley.
I would welcome other reader’s views on the leaders of our Council and hope that my letter has set the ball rolling.”
Previously published: More determined than ever!