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Tributes paid to former town and county councillor Pauline Watts

Pauline Watts pictured when she was mayor of Caldicot (Pic: Bryan Farmer/Caldicot Town Council)

PAULINE WATTS was the only member of the Labour group when she was elected to Monmouthshire County Council in 2012, and served alongside her son, Chepstow Bulwark and Thornwell councillor Armand Watts. 

The former councillor, who worked at Chepstow Leisure Centre before she was elected, died at the end of January and was in her 80s. 

Dewstow Labour councillor Tony Easson said she had been “restricted in her political ambitions” as council employees cannot stand for election but had realised them after her retirement. 

He said: “She attempted to get elected in 2008 but didn’t quite get in but succeeded in 2012. If you wanted a canvasser to go with you Pauline was so well known in Caldicot it was like an extra two votes when she was out with you. 

“When she joined the council I think Armand was a bit embarrassed but they were a good team and equal to the Doveys who were also a family.” 

Llanelli Hill independent Simon Howarth described the former councillor “as very, very approachable and someone I could trust”. 

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He added: “I don’t know whether Armand was shy, or embarrassed, you don’t get Armand embarrassed but she was probably the only one who could keep him under surveillance, keep an eye on him which was really important for many of us.” 

Conservative councillor for Abergavenny Maureen Powell said she had “kept her head up high” as the only female Labour councillor and said: “She was a lovely lady who worked so hard and I can quite believe she was a caring mother as well as she was a wonderful person.” 

Conservative group leader Richard John described her as “very passionate about this authority and residents”. 

He said: “Colleagues talk about her as fierce advocate for the residents of her ward and town and she was very proud to have been a councillor.”

Independent group leader Frances Taylor said she was “very sad” to have learned the former councillor had been diagnosed with dementia and said Cllr Watts will face a “huge vacum” having cared for his mother so long. 

Caldicot Labour councillor Rachel Garrick said Pauline was her councillor when she first moved to the town: “Residents of her ward remember her very well and very fondly and I wanted to make sure the council, and Armand, are aware of that.” 

Cllr Watts thanked councillors for their messages of support since his mother’s death and said: “She was a very proud and diligent councillor and well respected in this authority and community and was a fantastic councillor but I will say this, she was an even better mother.” 

Pauline Watts had also served as mayor of Caldicot and the town council said: “She will always be part of Caldicot Town Council’s history and an inspiration to councillors and mayors.”

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