Councillors react to Steve Curran’s shock resignation

Image above: Steve Curran during March’s Borough Council meeting

Hounslow’s councillors have paid tribute to Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, after his shock announcement that he will be standing down this year.

During a meeting of the Borough Council on Tuesday (1 March), Cllr Curran said he made the “very difficult decision” to not stand the forthcoming local elections in May due to illness. After having discussions with family and friends, Steve said he believed he was making the right decision to stand down. He will remain in place as leader of the council until the new councillors are in place following the election on 10 May.

Steve said:

“It has been an honour and privilege to have served the residents of Hounslow since I was elected as a Councillor for Syon ward in 2010. When I became Leader of the Council in 2014, we set ambitious targets to provide high quality education, build new Council homes and protect the most vulnerable, particularly the young and the old. I believe that this Council has done that.

“I am also very proud of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It showed not only the Council at its best but more importantly it showed the enormous community spirit in Hounslow, whether that was in Chiswick, Brentford, Hounslow or Feltham.

“Individual residents, community groups, volunteers and businesses all came together to support and help others in the most difficult of circumstances. I believe as we near the end of this administration it has never been more fit for purpose to face the challenges ahead.”

Image above: Cllr Lily Bath pays tribute to Cllr Steve Curran

Cllr Curran has ‘done an amazing job’, says Deputy Leader of the Council

Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of the Council, paid tribute to Cllr Curran and his time in office, saying:

“First of all I’d just like to say how shocked and sad I was when I heard the news tonight. I’ve worked alongside Steve as the Deputy Leader for the last four years and I know the challenges that he’s had to face. It’s not easy being in the leadership because you’re often in the firing line for criticism, but one of the things I’ve learned from Steve is that absolutely he’s passionate about what he believes in.

Cllr Bath then thanked Steve for his hard work and said she didn’t know any other councillor who worked as hard as he did. She said he was always available on the phone whenever she needed to call. eing in a leadership position was challenging, she said, and meant sacrificing a lot of time with family and friends.

“You’ve done an amazing job, everybody in the borough should be proud of what you’ve done and I really think you need to look after yourself now and I wish you all the best. And I’ll be checking up on you to make sure that you’re actually resting!”

Image above: Leader of the Opposition on Hounslow Council, Cllr Gerald McGregor, pays tribute to Cllr Curran

Chamber will be “deficient” without Cllr Curran, says Leader of the Opposition

Chiswick Homefields ward councillor and Leader of the Opposition on Hounslow Council, Cllr Gerald McGregor added his tribute to Cllr Curran too:

“I’ve had the pleasure of sharing, off piste, with Cllr Curran going to various places and enjoying his company at things like school governor’s dinners, and always a very good companion. I appreciate the work he’s done for the council in difficult circumstances across the piece, and I think we’ll be deficient in the future without him being with us in the chamber.

“It’s easy for me as a political opponent to decry everything he does but I’m not going to do that because he’s achieved a great deal in his personal life and in his public life as well. I want to wish him the very best of good fortune, and hope that this is not presaged by some huge issue in his mind. I hope that he has a life to lead after being leader and I hope that life is long and fulfilling. May I just wish you the very best for the future.”

Image above: Cllr Theo Dennison resigns during the Borough Council meeting

“It is with no regret that I welcome his resignation”, says Cllr Theo Dennison

While the majority of councillors paid tribute to Cllr Steve Curran, Cllr Theo Dennison welcomed his resignation and condemned the Leader, over what he described as the damage he has done to the Labour Party in recent months.

“I hope that our party will be able to rebuild itself, cleaner, more decent and democratic into the future because that is what this borough needs.”

Cllr Dennison then announced that he was resigning from Labour Group and the party as of Tuesday evening because of his concern over the way Cllr Curran had controlled the candidate selection process.

“I’ve worked with Steve for many years and I am well aware of his strengths and the contribution he has had to our borough and I don’t wish that to have been diminished. But I think it has been diminished by his actions while in absolute control of the selection process that has been undertaken in this borough.

“It is a welcome break, I think, for those who have lost out as part of the selection process that there will be two vacancies, at least, in Syon ward. I recommend those fine people who have been excluded to put themselves forward for consideration in that ward.”

Image above: Hanif Khan pays tribute to Cllr Curran

Hanif Khan pays tribute to hardworking Cllr Curran

“I’m saddened that we’ve had this announcement at such short notice, you owe us a lot more to be able to give you a better tribute than what we’re able to do today because I’m sure there’s lots of people who want to say such wonderful things about you.

“I just want  to  recollect one of the first memories I have of you and that was when Anne Keene was around and we met for the first time on The Green when Anne was about to have her hustings. I was walking along the Green with my father and he introduced me to you and said: ‘he’s the man, he’s the one who’s advising Anne Keene’, you had your piece of paper with you, you had your notes with you. And that’s what you do, in the background you do your work.”

Image above: Cllr Ron Mushiso pays tribute to Cllr Curran

‘One of my close friends and advisors’, says Cllr Ron Mushisho 

Conservative Turnham Green ward councillor Ron Mushisho said:

“Like Cllr Lily Bath I am shocked that Cllr Curran is gonna be stepping down. He and I have known each other on a personal level for quite some time. My tribute to him is that, despite our differences politically, he has always been one of my close friends and advisors.

“We definitely don’t agree with how he’s conducted himself these last four years, but this is about us making sure that he goes in his retirement in a good spot, in a good way and I’ll be sure to keep in touch.”

Speaking directly to Cllr Curran, Ron thanked him for the advise which was given to him over the years especially when he first got elected, to which Cllr Curran quipped to laughter: “Yeah but you didn’t take it though…”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Steve Curran stands down as Leader of Hounslow Council

See also: Cllr Hanif Khan, Hounslow Cabinet Member for Transport not reselected for election

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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