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Wednesday, 03 June 2015

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Prudhoe: Garretts bow out of local politics

IT’S the end of an era for Prudhoe couple, Bill and Lorna Garrett, who are stepping down from Prudhoe Town Council after 80 years in local politics between them.


Both have been involved in many crucial decisions affecting the town, but felt the time was right to let some new blood take over.

“Local government has changed dramatically and we’re just at that stage in our lives where we’re looking forward to having more time to ourselves and our family,” Lorna said. “I think we’ve given as much as we can and it’s always good to have some fresh blood and fresh ideas.”

Lorna, a qualified nurse, joined Prudhoe Town Council when it was set up in 1976, and went on to Tynedale Council as a Labour member in 1991. There, she was involved in many committees and did a spell as deputy chairman.

She has been involved in projects such as campaigning to save Hexham Hospital to aiding the expansion of Prudhoe’s Waterworld leisure centre.

Bill has also been involved with a variety of major schemes, such as the creation of the Manors extra care scheme in West Wylam and plans for the development of the old Prudhoe Hospital site.

The son of Labour MP for Wallsend, Ted Garrett, Bill’s political career began in 1970 when he was elected to Prudhoe’s urban district council. Four years later he became a founder member of Tynedale Council, with which he remained until its abolition, having a spell as leader for two years.

Formerly a staunch Labour man, he was elected to Northumberland County Council as an independent in 2008.