Labour stalwart Councillor Jean Nelder is to retire as a Plymouth City Councillor after 28 years of public services to residents in the Sutton and Mount Gould area of Plymouth.
Cllr Nelder was first elected for the Sutton ward in 1987 and will have served as a City Councillor for an uninterrupted 28 years when her last term ends in May 2015.
Cllr Nelder was the first ever woman to be a Cattedown Harbour Commissioner and chaired the City Council Planning Committee for many years, overseeing some of the city’s most significant developments over the last 20 years, including Drake Circus shopping centre.
As the cabinet member for strategic planning, she set ambitious targets for housebuilding and helped steer the Council to the Jubilee Cup, Planning’s highest prize, when the council beat off competition including the London Olympic Park.
She also helped to enshrine David Mackie’s master plan into Plymouth’s Local Development Framework which guides city development to this day.
Jean Nelder has been a staunch supporter of local residents and has achieved a number of successes working with the community including the regeneration of the East End of the city, and re-building Astor Playing Fields, again both prize-winning projects.
Cllr Jean Nelder said:
“I now feel it is time for someone younger to continue the work which I have enjoyed over so many years and always with the support from residents which has been very much appreciated. I now want to spend more time with my lovely family who has always been there for me in so many ways.
“I could not be more proud of my ward and its residents. I have been pleased to have represented the area in which I lived, I have brought up my family in this area, campaigned alongside my neighbours and worked to get a better deal for my ward.
“Over my years on the City Council I have seen our city grow and establish itself as a fine example of a city on the up. My ward has always been at the heart of developments and I’m ever so proud of what we have achieved for my area. Whether in opposition or in power my first duty has always been the people I represent and I’m ever so grateful for having been given the opportunity to represent them for nearly thirty years.”
Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council said:
“Jean is the longest-serving member of the council and I’m sorry to see her go. But if anyone deserves to enjoy her retirement, it is Jean. She really has done her bit, for her community, her ward and her city. Her ward colleagues Eddie Rennie and Mary Aspinall are going to miss her as much as local residents.”
Plymouth Labour Party will shortly announce its candidates for the 2015 local elections including a new candidate to stand in the Sutton and Mount Gould ward where Cllr Jean Nelder is currently a councillor.