Long-serving Ollerton councillor passes away

Launch of the New Ollerton Methodist Church food bank.  Food bank officially opened by Mayor of Ollerton Coun Stella Smedley.
Launch of the New Ollerton Methodist Church food bank. Food bank officially opened by Mayor of Ollerton Coun Stella Smedley.

A long-serving Ollerton councillor has passed away after a long illness.

Coun Stella Smedley MBE, who was first elected to Nottinghamshire County Council in 1977 and was the longest serving at County Hall, passed away yesterday, Wednesday 22nd October, aged 71.

Coun Smedley first got into politics at the age of 21 as a parish councillor in Ollerton. She was also a member of the old Sherwood Rural District Council.

She went on to represent Ollerton and Boughton on the county council for more than 37 years, holding a number of high-profile positions for the authority, including deputy leader (1981-85), chair of joint education, social services and leisure services committee (1985-89), chairman of the county council (1998-99).

Coun Smedley was the driving force behind the creation of one of the first community schools in the country, the Dukeries College and Complex in Ollerton, a major hub of facilities for young people, older people, people with disabilities and the unemployed.

She was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to the community, having been nominated by the current leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Alan Rhodes.

Speaking following the announcement of her death, Coun Alan Rhodes, said: “I know I speak on behalf of the whole county council and especially the communities of Ollerton and Boughton in expressing deep sorrow at Stella’s passing and giving our heartfelt condolences to her family and many friends.

“To serve the people of one community with such passion, values and unstinting determination for more than 50 years is never likely to be surpassed. It says everything about Stella that she remained an active and hard working councillor right up to her death - continuing to fight for the place she loved whilst also fighting cancer.

“Ollerton and Boughton has lost a fantastic champion and the county council has lost an inspirational councillor.”