A SUCCESSION of glowing tributes were paid to the chairman of Stroud District Council John Hudson at a meeting on Thursday night after it was announced that the 47-year-old would be standing down from his role due to ill health.

Mr Hudson, who suffered a heart attack as well as the loss of his mother over the Christmas period, had originally stated his hope of returning to the chair at Ebley Mill.

But at a meeting of the full council on Thursday (February 21), SDC's chief executive David Hagg revealed he had received a letter from Mr Hudson informing him of his decision to resign.

Having had time to think about his own and his young family's future, the father of three said he had decided to step aside in order to concentrate on his recovery. 

The news prompted an outpouring of praise for the popular district councillor from fellow members.

Council leader Geoff Wheeler (Lab, Dursley) said Mr Hudson had 'served the council well over a number of years' and wished him well with his recovery.
Cllr Dennis Andrewartha (Lib Dem, Cam West) described him as an 'honourable, decent and hardworking man', while Mattie Ross (Lab, Stonehouse) said he was 'honest and trustworthy'.

Conservative group leader Keith Pearson (Upton St Leonards) said his resignation was 'very sad' news, while Cllr John Marjoram (Green, Trinity) praised him for being 'principled' and 'sticking to his guns'.

First elected chairman in May 2007, Mr Hudson resigned from the Conservative group and became an independent member last year after failing to secure his party's support for an investigation into the expenses claims of a fellow Tory councillor.

A by-election will be held in May to fill the Cam East seat which he held for more than 11 years.

SDC's deputy chairman Mark Rees took the chair at last week's meeting in Mr Hudson's absence.