‘Humbled’ councillor leaves after 32 years

A parish councillor for three decades, a proud Rotarian for 50 years and a dedicated stalwart of the community – but now, John Tonkinson has decided to hang up his hat as councillor for good.

John Tonkinson, who has decided to hang up his hat as a parish councillor after 32 years
John Tonkinson, who has decided to hang up his hat as a parish councillor after 32 years

The 89-year-old has thanked everyone who supported him throughout his 32 years of continuous service on Trysull and Seisdon Parish Council in South Staffordshire.

He said he felt ‘humbled’ by all the support and good wishes he had received – and was now looking forward to spending his retirement relaxing at his countryside home in Seisdon.

Mr Tonkinson was chairman of the council six times during his years there and was instrumental in bringing about many worthwhile projects across the village, raising £134,000 for various causes.

Mr Tonkinson pictured in his 20s

He was behind creating a children’s play area in the parish, refurbishing the sports pavilion and village hall, creating a car park for the school, village hall and playing fields, and also setting up the Parish Council website and digital archiving system.

The grandfather, who is also one of the three remaining founder members of the Sedgley and Wombourne Rotary Club – which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary – said he felt ‘very fortunate’ to be involved in so many organisations.

Pictured at his home in Seisdon

Mr Tonkinson, who lives with his wife Evelyn and has two daughters and four grandchildren, said: “I am humbled but grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to the various groups of volunteers who run and operate a wide range of recreational facilities available within the parish.”

During his working life, Mr Tonkinson operated his own company, Associated Steels and Tools which he sold and retired from in 1985.

His friend and former council colleague David Southall said Mr Tonkinson’s achievements during his time on the council were ‘extraordinary’.

He said: “His level of commitment, drive and dedication is demonstrated by the fact that at the age of 89 he continued to attend and play an active role in the parish council meetings right up until his final meeting.”

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