Advertising

All-party tributes to tragic councillor

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Councillors from across the political spectrum in Cannock Chase have paid tribute to a former beat police officer and council cabinet member.

Councillors from across the political spectrum in Cannock Chase have paid tribute to a former beat police officer and council cabinet member.

Grandfather John Jillings died of bladder cancer at Stafford Hospital on Saturday, aged 48, after battling the illness for just three weeks.

Councillor Ann Bernard, the Tory group leader, who knew Mr Jillings as a colleague, friend and neighbour, said: "I don't think there was a street in Cannock Chase that he hadn't walked on.

"He took his role as a councillor so seriously, and he was so dedicated.We didn't realise he was so unwell because he kept it to himself - he always put other people first," she said.

"He didn't know he had it until three weeks ago and his family only knew for a fortnight. They are devastated because they feel like they didn't have enough time with him.

Mr Jillings, born in Lichfield in 1961, served as a police constable in Birmingham and Smethwick for 19 years. He ran a plumbing business before quitting to focus on his council responsibilities.

He was elected as councillor in May 2008, and won a cabinet role for Safer and Stronger Communities in the then Lib-Dem/Tory alliance.

In February he was selected as the new leader of the Cannock Chase Tory group following the resignation and defection of Phil Freeman.

Advertising

He went on to sever the six-year alliance with the Lib Dems in a row over council tax rates. Shortly afterwards, his health deteriorated.

Members from all parties have led tributes. Deputy Labour leader Councillor Frank Allen said: "It has caused me great sadness. It's particularly devastating because he hadn't been with the council long, comparatively, but it was clear that he was driven - a real go-ahead chap."

The Lib Dem leader of the authority, Councillor Neil Stanley, said: "It's a huge shock. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, his political sparring partners - everybody who knew him. "

Mr Jillings is survived by his wife Mandy, two daughters and two step-daughters.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News