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CAERPHILLY: Former councillor passed away

A LONG-STANDING councillor, who campaigned for road safety and was passionate about health, has passed away.

Former Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen councillor Colin Hobbs passed away on Monday May 22. Mr Hobbs was 84 when he died at his home in Machen.

Mr Hobbs was elected as a councillor in 1972, to the Urban District Council – which eventually became Caerphilly County Borough Council, after being Rhymney Valley District Council.

He was a Labour Party member for the majority of his political career, before serving as an independent from 2007 until 2012.

Mr Hobbs first become politically involved when he and his wife Marilyn suffered the tragic loss of their eldest daughter Rosemary, who was involved in a road traffic accident. Following this, the couple became very involved with road safety and successfully campaigned for a pelican crossing in Machen.

In addition to his councillor role, Mr Hobbs was the Chief Information Officer of the Caerphilly and Gwent Community Health Council for 30 years – during which he spearheaded a campaign for a district hospital.

He also campaigned for a new GP surgery in Machen, and his family said he was “honoured” to be asked to open the Ty Bryn Surgery, on The Crescent.

Mr Hobbs was also instrumental in the development of Machen’s playground, floodlights, and pharmacy. In addition to preventing construction work on Machen mountain as he blocked plans for a ‘coal washery’,

Councillor Elizabeth Aldworth, who he served alongside for many years, said: “I respected Colin, he was always a very nice man.”

Council leader Sean Morgan said: “Colin stood down from the authority back in 2012, but those who worked alongside him will have fond memories of a dedicated public servant. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

In 2010, Mr Hobbs was appointed cabinet member for performance, property and asset management under the leadership of councillor Lindsay Whittle.

Plaid Cymru councillor Whittle described him as a “pleasant and gentle man”.

He added: “This is a great loss to his family and friends of course, and we send our love and sympathy to them, but also a loss to local government.”

Mr Hobbs is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn, his daughters, Alison, Suzanne and Frances, his seven grandchildren, and his four great grandchildren.