THE EDITOR'S CHAIR: Newport will miss caring, passionate councillor, Ron Jones
THERE have been plenty of tributes paid to Cllr Ron Jones, who died suddenly this week, and it would be remiss of me not to add one of my own.
I can’t pretend to have known Ron, who served the Pillgwenlly area of Newport for almost 50 years, particularly well but our paths crossed from time to time over the last 25 years.
Apart from being a thoroughly nice man, what always struck me about Ron was his passion for his community.
He fought tooth and nail for Pill, even if that brought him into conflict with his own party’s policies.
He spoke his mind, even if that upset the party leadership.
And that, in my view, is precisely what a local councillor should do.
Whether they are elected under a party banner or not, their first priority should be their constituents.
Sadly, there are far too many councillors across the country who these days put their party and their own political ambitions first rather than the needs of the people they were elected to serve.
I probably spoke to Ron more about football over the years than politics.
He was a lifelong Newport County fan and also a long-time supporter of youth football in Pill.
Both my sons played junior football for Pill and I would often bump into Ron at matches or end-of-season presentation evenings.
I will leave it to those who knew Ron well to talk about his merits as a councillor and community champion.
All I know is at a time when Newport is searching for positivity and community leadership, it needs more people like Ron Jones.
The city is a poorer place for his passing.
Magnificent County supporters did Newport proud
RON Jones would have loved to have been with the travelling Newport County supporters at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night.
The 1,700-strong County crowd at the Hawthorns were magnificent in their support of their team.
There has been much debate in recent months over what can be done to rebuild a sense of passion and pride in Newport among its residents.
There was no shortage of either on Tuesday night.
The home crowd were left in no doubt that they were in the presence of people who were passionate about their football club and their city.
If the enthusiasm and positivity displayed by all those people in Birmingham on Tuesday could be bottled, Newport would have few problems in reinventing and restoring itself.
I may be an adopted Newportonian but I can't remember feeling as proud to be part of this city as I was on Tuesday evening.
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