Looking Back at the Stafford Goods contribution to Wednesfield North & Wolverhampton City Council.

From the Councillor Phil Bateman Archives –

IMG_8642 Cllr Gwen Stafford Good

 

I recently visited former Wednesfield North Councillor Gwen Stafford Good at her home in Wolverhampton, as she is not very well at the moment. I am sure she would be delighted if after reading this news from my Archives you wished to send a message.

Gwen and her husband Mike Stafford Good were Wednesfield North Councillors and did a great deal for residents during their terms of Office.

I knew Gwen of course before she became a Councillor. She was a teacher by profession and I first met her when I was a pupil. I attended Wards Bridge High School in 1961 – Gwen Sweetman as she was then, was the French teacher at the school, and she was certainly an eye catcher for those in my year! Rumours whilst I was at the school, suggested that she used to sing at a Night Club in the Town. I later found out that the rumours were of course true. Gwen appeared and sung at the Moonraker Club. Gwen had a super professional career, she left Wards Bridge and taught at Pool Hayes Comprehensive, before retiring as Head at Willingsworth Comprehensive School in Tipton.

Gwen Stafford Good was elected in my Ward of Wednesfield North for the first time in 1991, she beat Conservative candidate Andrew Dawson, Polling 1998 votes and beating Conservative candidate Dawson into second place… Gwen was returned with a handsome majority of 308! Not bad for the first time try at Wednesfield North.

Gwen won three of  four elections victories for the Labour Party in Wednesfield North, Mike won one also- All during the Nineteen Nineties. It was an exciting decade.

Plus of course, during this decade Gwen had perhaps the highest accolade the Council can give a Councillor, when in 1998/99 Gwen was elected as the Mayor of Wolverhampton with husband Michael as the Mayor’s consort. I talked with Gwen about that period when Mary and I recently visited. She was very proud of that year. What many will not realise. That whilst the Mayor has a chain of some grandeur which makes the status very obvious, and the Mayors Mayoress has the most fabulous diamond encrusted chain of Office to match. Michael as a male Consort had no such recognition.

That was altered! The Stafford Goods had a badge made and they paid for that, then they donated the badge to the City. So for ever after , if a Mayor is of female gender, the Mayors Partner/Husband has a badge to recognise his role when representing the city on Official visits. An incredibly generous act, that the City benefits from..

Election Record Wednesfield North

  • 1991 Gwen Stafford Good won with – votes 1998 majority 308
  • 1995 Gwen Stafford Good won with – votes 2418 majority 1604
  • 1996 Mike Stafford Good won with – votes 2015 majority 1060
  • 1999 Gwen Stafford Good won with – votes 1392 majority 403
  • 2000 Mike Stafford Good lost with -votes 1031 – Matthew Holdcroft 1272 Tory Maj 241
  • 2003 Gwen Stafford Good lost with –votes 1208 – Tory won by just 9 votes.

However the run of great victories came to a halt when first Mike lost in 2000 then Gwen lost at the end of her 1999 -2003 term of office. The Nineties decade had ended and a new Millennium decade had started.

The millennium year was in 2000. This decade started with fears that airliners would succumb to the millennium bug! Fall from the skies, computers would crash etc! Everyone was expecting a doom ridden start to the decade….

That didn’t happen to the World. But in the Millenuim decade disaster did hit Wednesfield North Labour Party. We started to see the big victories of the 90’s start to erode. In 2000 Mike Stafford Good who had joined Gwen and myself as a Councillor for Wednesfield North in 1996 lost to Matthew Holdcroft, a local man standing for the Conservatives in Wednesfield North. The Labour vote was down to 1031.

in 2003, Gwen then lost her seat. The Labour Vote had started to erode and polling 1208, to Conservative Candidate David Bourne, who polled 1217 votes. Gwen as was the Labour Party at that time was very upset – at losing the seat by just 9 votes!

Tory Councillor David Bourne then himself become infamous, when he got caught up in a massive sex scandal which hit the nations Sunday Papers. It was as you can imagine racy news for Wednesfield! Boy did that all have the tongues wagging! Perhaps it was the biggest political scandal in Wednesfield North’s history. But that is a whole new story on its own.

During their role and time spent as a Wednesfield North Councillor – both Gwen and Michael did much good work for our Ward.

Over the next few days I will be delving into my Archives and reminding readers of that great contribution Councillor Gwen Stafford Good and Michael made and how they helped the Labour Party make social progress..

If you would like to make a comment Please do so. I am sure Gwen would appreciate some kind words if you remember her….

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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