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Tributes to council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Mair Stephens

TRIBUTES have been paid to Cllr Mair Stephens, Deputy Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, who has sadly died.

Cllr Stephens, who led the Independent Group of county councillors, died on Sunday January 9, 2022, after a bravely fought illness.

Leading the tributes, Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, said she will be missed and remembered.

“The Mair we all knew and appreciated was industrious and meticulous with an attention to detail that was phenomenal. She gave it her all, whether it was in her work as a councillor for St Ishmael’s, in her voluntary associations, or indeed her family life.

“She has been a thorough and conscientious councillor for many years and has served as a Cabinet member for numerous administrations bringing that same work ethic to her various Cabinet roles. She has served as my able deputy for these past seven years and was absolutely committed and supportive in that role as she was in her leadership of the Independent Group.

“With her passing – as her colleagues and fellow councillors – we are all diminished. She will be so greatly missed but equally remembered by us all.”

Cllr Stephens, of Llansaint, was elected to Carmarthenshire County Council in 2004 as member for the St Ishmaels ward, covering the communities of Llandyfaelog, Ferryside, Llansaint, Cwmffrwd and Bancycapel.

For many years, and until her passing, she served on the council’s Cabinet with responsibility for council business and transformation, strategic planning, human resources and training, ICT, audit and performance management.

As well as serving the county council, Cllr Stephens had been a member of Llandyfaelog Community Council for over 40 years and served as National Chair of the Wales Association of Community and Town Councils, during which time she was instrumental in the formation of One Voice Wales, bringing together all organisations representing community and town councils in Wales.

She also represented community and town councils on the National Assembly Partnership Council and was Secretary of Llandyfaelog Agriculture and Horticultural Society.

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One of her strongest passions was the Women’s Institute, serving as county organiser for Carmarthenshire and as Chair of the WI’s Federations of Wales Committee.

A strong campaigner for volunteering and supporting those in need, Cllr Stephens served on the Welsh Consumer Council and on the Board of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

In Carmarthenshire she was the driving force behind the county’s Christmas Toybox Appeal and was overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness shown by local people to the 2021 appeal in which she oversaw the collection and distribution of over 7,500 gifts to over 1,200 children.

Wendy Walters, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “Mair will be hugely missed both by me personally and also by the wider team. We will hold very fond memories of working with Mair, and on behalf of all those officers that worked closely with Mair we offer our heartfelt condolences to her family – we hope that in a small way they may help during this very sad time.”

Flags at the county council’s civic buildings have been lowered to half-mast in a sign of respect following her passing.