Godfrey calls time on 20 years of council service

THE LONGEST serving borough councillor has decided to call time on his role after 20 years in the job.

Adopted Hastonian Godfrey Daniel will stand down in May at the local elections after two decades serving his home ward of Braybrooke.

The 63-year-old Labour servant will continue in his role as a county councillor but wants to step out of local politics while “still at the top of his game.”

“I want to go out on a high” said councillor Daniel. “I wanted to leave while I was on top of everything and feeling good about my achievements.”

The father-of-two, who is originally from Swansea, moved to Hastings in 1985.

He was first elected in 1994 and three years later as county councillor for Braybooke and Castle ward.

He served as Mayor of Hastings from 1998 to 2000.

He has been a magistrates on the local circuit since 1989. Last year he unsuccessfully stood as Labour’s candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

He was previously a teacher, youth worker, foster parent, residential social worker, education welfare officer and was, until early retirement, the head of pupil and student services for the London Borough of Lambeth.

At the borough council he rose to chair the planning committee for several years and carries out the same role at the county council.

In his spare time he is the president of the Hastings Welsh Society which boasts 100 members.

Alexandra Park, an improved library service and twin wheelie bins are among his most proud achievements.

“I worked hard to get investment in the park,” he added. “Also pushed hard at county hall to get money to refurbish and expand the library service here in Claremont.

“Securing twin wheelie bins with a green collection alongside the normal wheelie bin was also one of my most notable achievements.

“I will miss being a borough councillor but I feel its time to let somebody else fill my shoes here. I’ve had enough of running up and down stairs canvassing at my age. I will still do my best to represent my ward at country hall.

“Being honest and open and not promising the earth is what makes a good councillor.

“I love Hastings and feel very much at home here. It is where my heart is. I like being proactive and listening to people.

“I have seen a lot of changes in the town in the last 20 years and mostly for the better. The University, the new college, the Jerwood for example.

“Also the digital revolution has seen me chained to my desk most days answering up to 60 emails a day most weeks.

“One of my most proud achievements was knocking on the door of a 21-year-old Sarah Owen and pursuading her to come and join us.

“Now she looks set to represent her home town in Parliament as our local MP. You never know what lies behind a front door so I will never forget that doorknock.”