- Posted by: Cardiff West Labour
- Category: News
I just want to say a few brief words on behalf of Mark Drakeford and myself.
Jim was the epitome of what a local councillor should be. He was rooted in his community, he was concerned for local residents, he knew the streets of Ely like the back of his hand.
Of course many of us in Cardiff West Constituency Labour Party knew Jim long before he was elected to Cardiff Council in 2012. He was a delegate on Cardiff West Labour GC for many years and brought with him great wisdom and common sense from his years at Allied Steel and Wire. In a way in those years he was Cardiff West’s Gordon Brown, because he was in charge of the Labour Party finances.
Now anyone who is a member of any organisation knows that no-one ever wants to do the job of Treasurer (and generally if they do they are the type of person who needs to be watched very closely). Not Jim – he had the absolute trust of Cardiff West Labour Party members because his honesty and integrity shone brightly like one of these candles in this Church, and like these candles he had a burning flame of a sense of justice within him. He was a gentle man. He wasn’t just liked, he was loved by his Labour Party colleagues – as he was by Jan, and his children, grandchildren and great grandchild.
He was gentle but he could be tough and stubborn if he thought there was a wrong to be righted. When the ASW company went down and the workers’ pensions were under threat Jim lobbied me very hard for justice, and it was in no small part because of him that the Government (in fact Gordon Brown) had to set up a Financial Assistance Scheme for ASW pensioners and others in that situation.
That shouldn’t surprise anyone because as a big trade unionist at ASW one of the managers once said he as the nicest person, but if you came up against him on a union matter it was another story altogether.
I just want to say as the local MP what a pleasure and a privilege it was to know Jim. He never missed a meeting or a door knocking session. He always turned up. If I had a council issue from a local resident to pass on to him, he didn’t simply take it up, he would call round personally at the house of the resident concerned.
In many ways Jim was an old school dedicated public servant; never in it for himself but always looking to help others. If we had more Jims the world would be a much better place, and it is a poorer place without him.
All of us (particularly those of us involved in politics) should try to follow his example.
Jim – Farewell comrade – Rest in Peace