From the Archives of Councillor Phil Bateman
Second Part- Looking back at the Stafford Goods time As Councillors in Wednesfield North –
Gwen Stafford Good when she was first selected and then won her seat in Wednesfield North, so comprehensively in 1991, was full of vim and vigour. She had that Head Mistress aurora of confidence, she often met old pupils, and they even sought her out for a quiet chat! But to me looking on they were always that more respectful to Gwen than they were to me!
During her period here as a Councillor in Wednesfield North, Councillor Gwen Stafford Good was never ignored. Gwen held a number of high profile positions on the Council.
One of the key roles Gwen got appointed to by Council was as Chair of Licensing in Wolverhampton. She served on a whole range of Committees during her time on the Council, Regeneration, Life Long Learning and Transportation panel’s spring to mind.
Gwen had perhaps the highest accolade the Council can give a Councillor, when in 1998/99 Gwen was elected as the Mayor of Wolverhampton. During that time she invited her constituents to join her in the Mayor’s Parlour, and she attended functions and meetings throughout Wednesfield.
In 2003 Gwen was still very active in Education. She was Vice Chair of Wednesfield High School and was very at home in that environment. She was instrumental in the appointment of the Head Teacher at this school Mr Peter Coates.
Gwen not only worked hard locally she made a bit of a name for herself on a Group called Local Actions for Textiles and Clothing this was a national body. This was a group that had been set up to encourage and save as much skills as they could, as at that time low cost garments from abroad were killing the home textile industry.
In October 94, she came back from a meeting in Scotland with LATC where she had been elected as the Vice Chair of this organisation. They represented 6,000 clothing employees, and she informed us at a meeting that clothing then made up 3% of Wolverhampton’s economy. The Ward Party were very proud that one of their Councillors had been recognised in this way.
As anyone who knows anything about the Labour Party will know. Councillors are answerable to their Ward Party organisations. Our Meetings were most often serious affairs. That changed just a little when Mike won the Wednesfield North seat for Labour in 1996.
Both Gwen & Mike gave interesting reports! I don’t think I am giving any secrets away by saying, when Mike became a Wednesfield North Councillor our meetings became that little bit more interesting. Not because they were boring before, but because the dynamic changed, with two Stafford Goods reporting. Not just one! It often created problems for the Chair of the Ward, trying to control them both when there was an item of interest that had both Gwen & Michael vying for the last word!.
Gwen had quickly recognised Paul Bodley as one of her old pupils from Wards Bridge, Paul was and has been for more than 50 years one of the driving forces at Wednesfield Aces.
Paul Bodley had been with the Cycle Speedway Club since its formation. Paul invited Gwen to the Cycle Speedway Club which is a major sporting club here in Wednesfield North (Wednesfield Aces) . Gwen ended up writing an article for the Cycle Speedway Magazine, she was delighted at that time to do so. During her time on the Council representing Wednesfield North, she regularly supported the Aces, in their club development.
In fact in 1996 she was back at the Aces, presenting Trophies to the riders of the Great Britain v Poland International match that had taken place here in Wednesfield at the Wednesfield Aces track in Ashmore Park. I know that she felt that was a great honour for a Local Representative to undertake.
Gwen since she had been elected in 1991, had certainly spread her wings!
She was active in all areas of Wednesfield and Wolverhampton politics . Looking at a Ward Report that she reported on at this time. She commented on that she had met with the Police, the Park User Group, and had been to the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool.
The Blackpool trip was a very special trip to Party conference, Gwen and Mike gathered a couple of Party Members who accompanied them to Blackpool. I am told they had a hell of a time!
Gwen was rather popular in Wednesfield, and all sorts of organisations and clubs asked her to attend meetings, speak, and talk about politics, life in and around Wednesfield. Gwen was also a leading member of the local Soroptomist International. In 1994 Gwen was asked to switch the Xmas lights on in Wednesfield, which she did.
When Mary and I visited Gwen earlier this week, we talked about many of these things. Gwen smiled at some of our memories.
So I finish with a paragraph of my own thoughts. Since I have been a member of Wednesfield North. I have worked with a whole range of individual Councillors, all have been different, all have had their own individual style. Gwen and Michael Stafford Good made a solid contribution to our Community development. They were a pleasure to work with. They made their mark on our community and I am pleased to have had the chance to say so on these pages. They are very much part of our Political and Social history……