The Editor Says - this week's comment from Stroud Life editor Jason Chare
WHEN John Hudson became chairman of Stroud District Council he had some act to follow.
Sybil Bruce commanded respect – and a little fear, even in her own party group – across the chamber and represented the district with dignity and authority.
With little more than 50 of the district's most vociferous politicians vying for attention in the chamber, and a string of official engagements, it's not a role for the faint-hearted.
Wisely, John decided to do the job his way and he quickly grew into the role both inside and outside the chamber.
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It wasn't long before he had earned the respect of all sides.
Being a councillor these days is more than just a case of the odd bit of evening work here and there. John certainly put in the hours while holding down a career and being a husband and dad of three young children.
It must have hurt him greatly to leave the Conservative Party, which he joined as a youngster, but his switch to Independent status showed he is a man of principle.
All he wanted from an investigation into council expenses were answers to questions which he believed may not have been answered – and he wasn't afraid of what or who might be implicated.
A heart attack at just 47, though, is an alarm call which puts what's important in life into perspective. While we're sorry to see John leave office we think he's made the right choice and wish him well with his young family and hope he has the time and energy to fight for a council seat again one day.