Tributes have been paid to the former leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Norman Davies OBE, who passed away this week.

Mr Davies was leader of Labour Group from 1987 to 2002 and of the council from 1988 to 1992 and again from 1994 to 2002. He served as a councillor for Spring Vale ward and later Bilston East from 1973 to 1984 and 1986 to 2002.

He was instrumental in securing City status for Wolverhampton at the turn of the millennium, and was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Bilston Urban Village. He was awarded the OBE in the 1990s.

Council Leader Roger Lawrence said: "Norman was a much respected council leader for many years. He was active in promoting closer working across the Black Country and in promoting regeneration across the city.

"He would have been delighted to see the progress being made on Bilston Urban Village, a project he initiated. He was also committed to education in Wolverhampton.

"He may best be remembered for achieving Millennium City Status for Wolverhampton - something he was very proud of. Our sympathies go out to his widow Mary and his family and friends."

Councillor Wendy Thompson, leader of the Conservative Group on the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "Norman was a quiet man but very committed in his role as leader of the council and never forgot his traditional roots in Bilston.

"I would like to express my sympathy to his family at this sad time."

Mr Davies, who was 84, had been involved in many local organisations over the years, including the Beacon Centre for the Blind, the Black Country Museum Trust, One Voice, Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, Wolverhampton Sports Advisory Council, the West Midlands Local Government Association, West Midlands Crime and Police Panel, Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, Wolverhampton Learning Disability Partnership, Wolverhampton Older People's Partnership Board, Wolverhampton Network Consortium, Wolverhampton Race Equality Council and the West Midlands Regional Assembly.

He also served on the Board of the Black Country Development Corporation and as Chair of Wolverhampton City Challenge, and was an active trade unionist. He worked for many years at Cannon Industries in Coseley.

Members observed a moment's silence to Mr Davies at last night's meeting of Wolverhampton's Full Council, during which tributes were also paid to Sarah Edmondson, councillor for Park Ward between 1995 and 2000, who passed away recently.

Mrs Edmondson, who was also a City librarian for many years, was the widow of former City of Wolverhampton Councillor Bob Jones, who was elected the West Midlands' first Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012.

  • released: Thursday 29 March, 2018