If you had to be stuck in a lift with someone, who would it be and why?

A lift engineer’s daughter. Failing that, I could think of a few interesting questions I would like to ask Margaret Thatcher. I don’t think we would like each other.

What is your biggest fear?

A world without wildlife due to habitat loss or pollution. Every time a creature or plant becomes extinct is a step nearer to the planet becoming uninhabitable for humans. The good news is that places like Newport Wetlands and the schools Green Flag award schemes are making sure our next generation have a better understanding of how to repair the damage of previous generations.

Do you have any superstitions?

Absolutely not (touch wood). Even though I was brought up in a very superstitious household. My mother was a Gipsy peg seller’s dream customer, we had hundreds of them and we had more heather in the house than in the garden. The dregs of every tea cup were examined, as were the horoscopes. Somehow, it was all lost on me.

If you could have one song on your iPod, what would it be and why?

City of Newport Male Choir singing Take me Home reminds me of my childhood and my dad coming home from work. He was a steelworker.

A hardworking and proud former war soldier, he did not drive but seemed to march everywhere.

We were very fortunate that he was always in full employment. We had a roof, food and clothes. Who would have thought almost 50 years on we appear to be taking a big step backwards.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought, not including property?

My bike

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Wherever you work or in any organisation you are involved with, there will be many nice people.

There will also be a person who always seems to make your life difficult.

Learn to live with and cope with that person. That was told to me by my careers teacher the day I left school (Hartridge).

Also, from my fire service days: never break wind when sealed in a chemical protection suit.

What’s your indulgence?

My pets (two dogs, three cats) and feeding and housing the many wild creatures that come into the garden

What could you not live without?

My wife Jane and my mobile phone.

My mobile has now become an additional limb. In more than 25 years as a councillor, I have not knowingly failed to answer or return a call. How ever did we manage without them?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

Listen more and talk less

Where are you next going on holiday?