TRIBUTE has been paid to the ‘loyalty and professionalism’ of the deputy leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, who has marked 30 years as a councillor.
Councillor Julia Jessel has clocked up 14 years representing Needwood ward for the borough council, and before that she served on Lichfield District Council. She is deputy leader of the council under Councillor Richard Grosvenor, and also held the post under former leader Alderman Alex Fox.
At the authority’s annual meeting on Friday, Councillor Grosvenor said: “I fondly remember the first meeting with Julie. I thought then what an impressive local politician and person, and my admiration has only deepened.
“Alderman Fox said she had the biggest balls of anyone on his cabinet, and it’s not hard to agree.
“She always thinks in the interests of what is right and what will be the best interests of the people in the area she represents.”
Alderman Fox also spoke with admiration about her work.
“She has a massive commitment, and she not only does it because of what she believes in, but because she is dedicated.
“I would look forward to Julia doing another 30 years in this position if she could repeat the contribution she has made in these,” he said.
Other councillors spoke of the ‘privilege’ of working with Councillor Jessel.
The councillor was presented with a certificate and gift from the council in recognition of her long service.
Thanking her colleagues, Councillor Jessel said: “I am almost rendered speechless. I have always enjoyed my work and I have always had great satisfaction.”
Referring to her role as deputy leader, she said: “Behind every great man is great woman.”