Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 29 January 2018

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Chaired the meeting of Full Council at the Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees

 

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Presentation to Marie of Honorary Alderman to former Councillor Stephen Smailes. Marie with friends and chief Executive Neil Schneider

 

Prior to the main agenda it gave me great pleasure to confer the posthumous Honorary Alderman on former Councillor Stephen Smailes. Marie Smailes, Stephens’s wife, and her friends attended the presentation ceremony.

Stephen gave 38 years’ service to Stockton from 1967 to 2005 and was the Leader of the Conservative Group. Over the years Stephen frequently showed his enthusiasm and dedication to his work, and was known for his dogged questioning at Council meetings. I am told at a meeting in 2002 he took his colleagues by surprise when for the first time since 1975 he did not ask a single question.

I first met Stephen and Marie in the 60’s when I joined the Stockton and Billingham Technical College Badminton Club in Billingham, Stephen was running the well organised club at the time and was renowned for his swift fleet of foot around the courts, with his tenacious and determined attitude, he was always a difficult player to beat. I suppose that was the same with him throughout life.

I do know that Stephen worked very hard around the Hartburn Ward and I would see him most weeks following up issues by residents or helping people with numerous problems they couldn’t manage themselves, delivering the latest Ward or Stockton news and campaigning for the right reasons.

He always managed to stop and have a word on the doorstep and was generous with the time taken to discuss issues.  He gave you the time of day.

What I know of Stephen during his councillor activities, that he was honest, forthright, reliable, and a man of strong principles who always had the courage of his convictions. He made untold contributions to the committees he served and was an ambassador for the town of Stockton.

For his dedication and longevity of service, this Council posthumously conferred Stephen as an Honorary Alderman. Marie signed the Honorary Roll and received the Alderman Medal on behalf of her late husband.

Back to the evenings agenda:  All issues were covered on the night and one motion was accepted going forward. There were no public questions, and the members question was responded to by the Council Leader. Finally the Forward Plan and Leaders Statement were delivered.