Stroud Mayor Kevin Cranston is stepping back after nearly a quarter of a century on the Town Council, writes Marianne Sweet
When Councillor Cranston first joined Stroud Town Council in May 1998, the biggest issues facing the town were the decline of the High Street and plans to put new housing on Callowell Fields. The High Street has survived and Callowell Fields are still green.
“I had just left the Army as a pilot flying helicopters and I wanted to try to do something to protect the environment,” said Councillor Cranston. “So I joined the Green Party and was co-opted on to the Town Council.”
He has served a decade as Town Mayor, first from 2004-2006 and then from 2015.
Now Councillor Cranston has decided it is time to step aside to make room for the next generation. He will not be seeking re-election as Mayor in May but will continue as a Town Councillor until the next elections in 2024.
“I will soon be 70 and feel that it is time to hand over to a younger generation. I am starting that process by standing aside as Mayor.” he said.
“I will be handing on the Town Council in a good space; it is delivering much more than 25 years ago. Some projects like the Sub Rooms and the Canal are coming to fruition. And new projects are emerging which others will take forward. It just feels that it’s the right time to move on, besides, it’s not good for democracy for anyone to go on too long.”
During his time as Mayor, the Town Council has grown markedly in capacity and professionalism and is better able to serve the community. Councillor Cranston has been involved in the Council’s campaign to save the Subscription Rooms and initiatives to support the community.
“I think what I have brought to the Council is a skill in spotting and recruiting talented people who I encourage and hopefully empower to deliver great results,” said Councillor Cranston.
“I leave a talented and committed team of Town Council staff and councillors who are passionate about this town.”
Councillor Cranston, who represents Central Ward, will step down as Mayor at the Town Council Annual Meeting in May, when his successor will be elected by the Council.