The cap Fitz! ‘Retired’ councillor comes back

RETIREMENT did not last long for Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick after he was elected in Hyde Werneth.

Conservative incumbent Ruth Welsh was voted out as two Labour and Co-Operative candidates – Shibley Alam and the ‘new’ guy – joined Tory Phil Chadwick.

Juts one year after announcing he was stepping down following 31 years as a local representative – latterly in Hyde Godley – he is back in the area he was first elected for in 1990.

Cllr Shibley Alam with newly elected Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick

And seeing the effect national issues, like the cots of living crisis, were having on his doorstep meant he had to come back.

Cllr Fitzpatrick, who received 1,530 votes compared to now former councillor Welsh’s 1,456, told The Correspondent: “I didn’t like retirement, so I thought I’d come back!

“I’d had my time out and thought we had a good chance in Werneth this time, that’s why I thought I’d stand.

“I’m Hyde born and bred. I was actually born in Werneth, on Croft Street, and the party wanted me to come back so I said, ‘Right, I will do.’

Supporters join Cllrs Alam and Fitzpatrick on stage following the election result

“Obviously, I had to think about it as I was quite adamant I was going to retire but these things happen. You can never say no, can you?”

Cllr Fitzpatrick has come back at a time when much is being discussed about Hyde – not least the Godley Green Garden Village plan and hopes to regenerate its town centre.

Much debate will ensue but near the top of his priority list is helping tackle the issues affecting many people in his ward.

Councillor Phil Chadwick returned to his seat in Hyde Werneth

He added: “This Government is causing massive problems for people living in Werneth. There are huge difficulties right across the ward now and it’s something we need to address.

“Now I’ll sit down with Shibley and we’ll work out what our plan will be. We’ll move forward from there.”

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