New bench in Stretton on Dunsmore to honour dedicated councillor

Ian Smith and Cllr John Simmonds enjoying the new bench
Ian Smith and Cllr John Simmonds enjoying the new bench
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A bench has been installed in a village near Rugby to mark the dedication of a parish councillor who has retired after 46 years of service.

Ian Smith decided to call time on his role last year after serving the people of Stretton on Dunsmore for more than four decades.

Mr Smith gathered with former colleagues last week to welcome the new bench.

The dedicated councillor has been involved in some significant campaigns and decisions over the years. One of his highlights was working with Ron Ravenhall and Jim Pawsey to get a roundabout built at the A45/Fosse Way crossroads.

He also campaigned to have the monument which stands on the roundabout on the A45 cleaned and all the names recut and helped get mains gas supplied to the village and water installed in Plott Lane, allowing water to get to the allotments.

Mr Smith said he was delighted with the new installation.

“I am proud and honoured to have the bench in the village,” he said.

“The local people thought I had done a good job on the council and that means a lot to me. Stretton on Dunsmore is a lovely place and the village centre has managed to retain its individuality.”

Speaking of his 46 years on the council, Mr Smith said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a councillor for parish council, the borough council and the county council.

“My advice to young councillors is be independent and speak your mind. You might make a few enemies along the way but you will get respect and that is what matters.”

Mr Smith added: “Stretton has always resisted change and has managed to keep its character. But I would like to see the old Dun Cow site developed and get as many houses on it as possible.”

A spokesperson for Stretton on Dunsmore Parish Council said: “Ian will be greatly missed and the monthly Parish Council meetings have not been the same without him.”