Popular councillor resigns after 30 years of service

A HEMSWORTH district councillor who has notched up almost 30 years of public service has resigned from Wakefield Council following the death of his wife, Maggie.

Wayne Jenkins, who represented ward 7, handed in his official notice last week, meaning that his seat will be contested at this year’s district elections.

Mr Jenkins first joined the council when it was known as the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council in November 1978.

He has since been chairman of the Passenger Transport Authority for West Yorkshire, the chairman of the Transport and Highways Agency and, more recently, the cabinet member for children and young people.

Mr Jenkins has worked hard to improve education in the district. He campaigned to get SureStart in Hemsworth up and running and has helped to promote education for 14 to 19-year-olds in the area.

He was also instrumental in the building of Fitzwilliam railway station, the Hemsworth by-pass and Hemsworth bus station. He is chairman of the management committee at the Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Resource Centre and hopes to continue with this role and help them as they move into new areas of learning, including horticulture and construction.

Mr Jenkins, who is moving to the Lake District, where he spent time with Maggie, will also continue to do work with schools and colleges.

He said: “I am proud of the physical infrastructure that I have helped put in place, such as the bus station and the bypass. Fitzwilliam train station was the first thing that the Passenger Transport Authority built.

“I am also proud of the resource centre, which is one of the main drivers in adult education in the south east of Wakefield, and that children in the area are high achievers –Hemsworth Arts and Community College is one of the best in the country.

“I am sad to be leaving so many friends in the area and I would like to thank everyone for their support.”

Council leader Peter Box said: “I want to thank him for all that he has done for the council and the district for many years. We wish him all the best.”