Biggleswade couple to retire from politics after decades of service

17 January, 2018 - 08:27
Biggleswade Labour stalwarts Victor and Doris Brunt on their wedding day. Picture: Victor Brunt

Biggleswade Labour stalwarts Victor and Doris Brunt on their wedding day. Picture: Victor Brunt

Archant

A Biggleswade couple who have given their lives to politics, serving as councillors for 75 years between them, will finally retire this evening.

Victor and Doris Brunt today. Picture: North East Bedfordshire Labour PartyVictor and Doris Brunt today. Picture: North East Bedfordshire Labour Party

Biggleswade Labour chairman Victor Brunt and his wife, former councillor Doris Brunt, are set to retire at the town branch’s annual meeting tonight.

Victor, 92, has been a Labour member since he joined as a 21-year-old Royal Navy seaman in 1946, and was a councillor for 50 years. Doris, 88, joined the party at the age of 19 and was a councillor for 25 years. Both have served as mayor of Biggleswade.

Those saluting the Brunts on their retirement have included John Tizard, who led the Labour group on the now-defunct Bedfordshire County Council.

“I and many others have been inspired by their values, insight and commitment,” said John.

“Vic was my agent in the 1983 General Election, and they have been fantastic comrades.”

Arlesey and Stotfold Labour Party chairman Doug Landman added: “They have been energetic and inspirational members, and are living legends for us all.”

Victor, who was born in Biggleswade, served on tank landing craft at Gold Beach on D-Day in 1944 – for which he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by the French government in 2016.

Doris was born in Limehouse in the East End of London, and was evacuated to Biggleswade in 1940. She and Victor met in 1946 at The Avenue Club, a establishment in Biggleswade for war workers.

Victor became a member of Biggleswade Urban District Council in 1952, and four years later Doris joined him – the council’s first female member.

Victor was elected to Mid Beds District Council in 1974, and Bedfordshire County Council in 1989. He was also mayor of Biggleswade in 1980 and 2002.

Doris, meanwhile, served on Biggleswade Town Council from 1976 to 1983, and was the first female mayor of Biggleswade.

Issues on which Victor and Doris campaigned included the preservation of Biggleswade Hospital, preventing the closure of Stratton School Farm, and an end to the town workhouse.

Julian Vaughan, who chairs the North East Beds Labour Party, said he had frequently spoken to Doris while running in last year’s General Election. He said: “Doris and Victor are an inspiration to me and others who attempt to follow in their footsteps.”

The Brunts have received a personal letter from the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, thanking them for their decades of service.

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