(i) Announcement by the Mayor
We have lost Councillor Sam Munn since the last meeting and I give members the opportunity for tributes for long service to the Council and to Tamworth people. He had a knack of reminding us what we used to do. He was a traditional Councillor and he had a sense of pride for Tamworth, colleagues and friends. He will be greatly missed.
Tributes were then given by the following:
Councillor J Garner
I first met Councillor Sammy Munn in 1977 when he was canvassing for Amington Ward. Roads were an issue and Councillor Munn brought 147 people to a meeting as a result of his representations. He encouraged me to stand and I spoke to him about matters just before he went into hospital. He was a Tamworthian through and through.
Councillor M Gant
Our children knew each other at school and he was very proud of his children. We have lost a true gentleman and a great friend. I will update everyone on how Dorothy and the family are getting on.
Councillor K Gant
I first met Councillor Munn in 1972 when he persuaded me to become a Councillor. He was a military man in the Engineer’s Regiment, he was a good friend and will be sadly missed.
Councillor R McDermid
I found the funeral very enlightening – it was both sad and fantastic. As a family man I was moved by the children speaking at the service and I aspire to be a Councillor like him. He was always there, controversial at times but Tamworth was at his heart always. It is a sad loss for the Council and Tamworth. We should all aspire to his achievements for the town and his family values. He was well known and it is a sad loss, and I send my condolences to his wife and children who were lucky to have a husband and father like Sam.
Councillor L Bates
Councillor Munn embodied community champion and was not afraid to fight a corner. I have two particular election poster memories of Councillor Munn; the first was putting up a poster on Tame Drive on a very windy day and the second was he was sat on my bench when the bench collapsed and Councillor Munn apologised. He was an elder statesman of Tamworth, never to be forgotten.
Councillor M Greatorex
My memory of Councillor Munn was going to see him with my nomination paper and expecting Councillor Munn to have a list of names waiting for me when I arrived. I eventually managed to get some names and Councillor Munn told him to ‘make sure that you tell the people that Sam Munn sent you’ and they duly signed. I decided not to say that Sam Munn had sent him at the last one and was kept talking until I said that Sam had sent me and the person said ‘why didn’t you tell me?’ I relayed this story to Councillor Munn and he said ‘I did tell you what to do’. I recognise Councillor Munn’s influence in the Ward and his rapport with people.
Councillor C Cooke
I am conscious some members have a lot more experience than me of Councillor Munn. I hold the view sincerely that he worked hard. Councillor Munn sometimes told me that he agreed with me. In the 52 years since Councillor Munn was first elected Tamworth has become a better place. It has been a privilege to have known him.
Councillor P Seekings
There were two sides to Councillor Munn. I had a dispute in this Chamber with him but a week or two later we became friends again. I went to St Editha’s last week for Ron’s funeral and Councillor Munn’s wife said that she had to be there because she had promised her husband that no matter what happened she would go to respect him - that was Councillor Munn.
Councillor A James
I have known of him all my life but I did not meet him until 2005. He knew my family. I joined Councillor Munn in Mercian Ward when I was elected and he will be sorely missed.
Councillor R Pritchard
I met Councillor Munn in 2004 and he took me under his wing. He was a warm and friendly man. I will always remember from the funeral his Son saying that Sam has become a bumble bee. I wish that he had written a book as this would be the best Tamworth encyclopaedia ever seen.
Councillor R Cook
Councillor Munn was the truest gentleman I have ever met. He was a proud man and he was proud to be a Borough Councillor and proud to have been a Mayor. He will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family. Councillor Munn was also proud to be a middleweight champion when he was in the army.
A Goodwin (Chief Executive)
Councillor Munn always had absolute respect for officers, decisions and he was proud to play a part in the Council. I remember a members’ crusade but Councillor Munn did not believe in a crusade, he believed in one person leading it. Councillor Munn had the strongest grip I have ever seen and was a very nice person. I will be amending the spec for pest control – if anyone kills a bumble bee they will have me to deal with.
(ii) Announcement by Councillor G Pinner
I am disillusioned by the Conservative Government and the Conservative rule in Tamworth. The Conservative government has failed Tamworth. From today (Tuesday 25 October) I am no longer supporting the Conservatives so I am crossing the Chamber. It wasn’t an easy decision – Conservative’s don’t want people like me who tell it like it is and not comply with party dogma.
Councillor R McDermid welcomed Councillor G Pinner to the Labour group.