The Vice-Chairman of the Council, Cllr Colin Todd (1950 - 2023)
The Vice-Chairman of the Council, Councillor Colin Todd passed away on Sunday 8th January 2023. Willaston observed a period of civic mourning to mark the passing of The Vice-Chairman which ended on 1st February. Councilor Todd was given a Civic Funeral on Tuesday 24th January 2023 which saw civic heads of local government pay their respects. Councillor Todd's coffin was draped in the Council flag and Councillors formed a guard of honour as the funeral cortege arrived at Crewe Crematorium. On Tuesday 31st January the Council met and observed a 2 minute silence and tributes were paid by Councillors. Leading the tributes, The Chairman Cllr Craig Bailey said:
"Our esteemed colleague Councillor Colin Todd passed away peacefully at home on Sunday 8th January after a period of illness. Throughout his ill health he maintained his commitment to this Council, this was clearly apparent at the last meeting in November, when despite his failing health he contributed to discussions with his usual spirt and passion.
Colin joined the Council in 2004 when he was co-opted as a Member. Since then he has served as Chairman of the Willaston in Bloom Committee, he sat on the Allotment Committee, the Planning Committee and was a driving force behind Willaston having a Neighbourhood Plan and served as the Vice-Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning group between 2015-2017. He contributed heavily to the formation of the policy statements within the plan and as we all know he had an excellent working knowledge of policies which he could quote at ease from memory. He also led on the community speed watch and represented Council at the police cluster meetings for many years.
He attended many Local Planning Authority meetings and spoke at Appeals on behalf of the Council. I do believe that without Colin’s astute eye for the detail on planning matters, Willaston’s planning policies would not be as robust as they are today. This Council and this community is I believe indebted to his contribution in this area.
Colin served as Vice-Chairman of the Council for at least 12 years and was acting Chairman in 2011. I can’t speak for my predecessors, but over the past 4 years I have found Colin to be of great support. This support was most apparent to me during lock-down when between March and July 2020 the Council was effectively administered by the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Clerk.
We developed a good working relationship and I have a huge respect for the commitment he gave to the Council. He was steadfast in his opinions and would welcome a healthy discussion, but this was always in good spirit and filled with humour.
The role of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman might appear to the public as simply formal roles – you turn up to the meeting and say who can speak. But of course there are hours each month, even each week which sit behind that which isn’t seen. Colin took his role seriously and would spend hours each week on Council business which only his family and friends would be fully aware of.
He believed that we are the grassroots of local government and he put in the hours of hard graft he felt it deserved. He was a firm believer in Councillors being professionals in public office, and would always advocate the independent advice and specialist training provided by ChALC, of which he was an Executive Board member for 7 years.
He served the Council and the community with passion and devotion for over 18 years. Although he leaves behind a hole in the Council, he also leaves behind a significant contribution and a legacy to be proud of."