St Helens school’s tribute to long-serving councillor

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A local politician who is believed to have been the longest serving councillor in the UK has been honoured by Haydock High - with the unveiling of a plaque in his memory in the school’s new reception area.

Jim Caunce, who passed away in 2010 aged 92, was a familiar face in the town hall for almost 60 years and made a freeman of the borough in 1995.

Jim’s daughters, Ann Simister and Joan Dearden, and his nephew Stephen Caunce joined previous headteacher Andy Pollard and Director of Children and Young People’s Services Andy Dempsey – who were both involved with the project - at a ceremony to mark the occasion.

They were accompanied by former members of staff, governors and headteachers from some of Haydock’s feeder primary schools.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning Councillor Jeanette Banks said: “Jim always took a keen and active interest in Haydock High and I know he would have been delighted to have been honoured in this way. I also know that would have been very excited about the new-look frontage and reception area at the school.”

Current headteacher Ian Murphy said: “We are particularly pleased to see the family of Jim Caunce here today - to share in what we hope is a fitting tribute to Jim and the enormous commitment he made to both Haydock High and the town of St Helens.

“The governing body have for many years discussed an appropriate memorial to Jim and I’m delighted that we have finally found a means to honour his memory at Haydock.”