Party politics put aside to honour true Stevenage stalwart

Maggie Kissane, with the town's mayor Howard Burrell and Alderman David Kissane. Credit Pete Stevens

Maggie Kissane, with the town's mayor Howard Burrell and Alderman David Kissane. Credit Pete Stevens - Credit: Pete Stevens -

In a break from the norm councillors united from across Stevenage’s political parties to pay tribute to a town stalwart on the evening that he was made an alderman.

David Kissane served his community tirelessly for almost 30 years as a Labour councillor for Symonds Green, until he stepped down from the post in May.

Paying tribute to him before the council made him an alderman, Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor, said: “He was the exemplarily community councillor.

“He gave up Christmas Day with his family one year to serve lunch to elderly pensioners and delivered presents on one Christmas Eve to a single mother.

“I am delighted that the council has agreed to confer this honour on David. He has done great work helping many people and was a very popular councillor.”

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David was born in Dublin and joined the RAF as a young man. He travelled all over the world during his 12 years’ service and moved to Stevenage after being demobbed to work at BAE Systems. He was quickly promoted to a supervisor and then became a trade union representative for GMB in 1978.

In 1986 he decided to try his hand at politics and stood for the Symonds Green ward, which he served for more than 29 years.

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The council’s Liberal Democrat group leader Robin Parker said: “Your concern for people has shone through. I want to say thank you, David, and wish you all the best for the future.”

As well as serving as a councillor, David was the town’s mayor, with his wife Maggie as consort, in the millennium year. He was also active on the bus users’ group, worked with the furniture recycling scheme and was a passionate supporter of the Stevenage Haven homeless shelter.

Accepting the honour, he said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without the help and support of so many people I would not have done what I have over the last 30 years.”

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