Wolverhampton Loses Another Political Warrior!


Mayor Margaret Benton 1995 – 1996 Former Councillor for Bilston North



The 137th Mayor of Wolverhampton the former Councillor Margaret Benton passed away today.

It is with sad regret that I have to inform you that former Councillor Margaret Benton (83) has today passed away in New Cross hospital. Margaret was a political activist and a warrior! Also she was a great promoter and believer in education.

Margaret was a good friend to Wednesfield and in the early 80’s she lived in our Ward of Wednesfield North and was an active Labour Party member, even holding Party Office in Wednesfield North Labour Party. This was before she and Sue Hall moved from her home in Springhill Road back to her beloved Bilston.

Whilst she lived in Wednesfield, she often had the former Wolverhampton North East MP Renee Short staying at her home on weekends. My favourite times was when the former Bilston MP Bob Edwards, was in Wednesfield. He was always staying with Margaret, which was great, because we loved the information he gave, and his account of meetings with the World leaders and politicians.

After moving back to Bilston, she then was elected as the Councillor for Bilston North in May 1991, and she held that office until May 2003. Margaret was heavily involved in Civic life, and was a City Councillor after the Town became a City in Year 2,000.

Margaret Benton was very proud of Bilston where she grew up, and very proud of Wednesfield, where she worked as a teacher in Wards Bridge Secondary Modern School. In fact she taught me at Wards Bridge alongside her pal Gwen Sweetman, later to be known as Cllr Gwen Stafford Good. Who also passed away this year. 2016 is a horrendous year for taking good friends and political and community activists.

When I first joined the Labour Party in the late 1970’s, I was shocked to find that Margaret was already a very long standing Labour Party member. I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that Miss Benton of Wards Bridge School was such an active member!

I have always had a huge respect for Margaret; she was always very helpful to me throughout my political life. She was always interested in what I was up to. She was a very dear friend.

The highlight of her Civic life was becoming the Mayor of Wolverhampton in 1995. She carried out that duty with regal aplomb, and a degree of humour as well!

Both Mary and I were very fond of Margaret Benton. Wolverhampton Labour Party will very much miss Margaret as Mary and I also will. She gave outstanding service to the town of Bilston and the City of Wolverhampton. Please take a few moments Wednesfield North Labour Party members to  read this.

Margaret was a great educator, a truly nice member of society, and a real civic warrior for the people she represented, and the communities she lived in. I want to use this message to pass on our Deepest Sympathy and Condolences to Margaret’s family and friends.

Rest In Peace Margaret, you did your bit to improve this bit of the World!

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