Long-serving South Shields councillor Bill Brady, 87, to step down at May 2022 South Tyneside Council elections

One of South Tyneside’s longest-serving councillors has announced he will step down at the May elections.

By Chris Binding
Friday, 11th March 2022, 5:51 pm

Councillor Bill Brady has served the Whiteleas ward in South Shields for three decades, and has as both a cabinet member and Mayor of South Tyneside during that time.

Although the 87-year-old said he could carry on, he believes the time is right to retire and let a new Labour candidate take on the challenge.

Bill hopes his successor will carry on his local priorities to expand access to “essential” defibrillators, to help the vulnerable and to lobby for the redevelopment of some “outdated” council housing in the area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Councillor Bill Brady is standing down at the May 2022 elections.

Cllr Brady comes from a political family with his father being a councillor for the Horsley Hill ward and two of his brothers going on to become councillors in other local authorities.

After serving as a miner at Whitburn Colliery until its closure, Bill worked in labouring and factory jobs before retraining and gaining employment with the council servicing and repairing gas appliances.

Throughout his career, Bill served on several local and national committees representing plumbers and electricians.

According to Bill, the Labour values instilled during his childhood helped him learn the “principle of equality and treating people right”.

Whiteleas councillor Bill Brady (right) with Whiteleas candidate for 2022, Ken Dawes.

“There is a much larger difference now between the rich and poor and you have more and more working people because of this situation having to go to food banks,” he said.

“We’re trying to help them through our Community Area Forum funding but you have children now who are not eating properly and families choosing between heating and eating”.

Looking back over the Covid-19 pandemic and ahead to future challenges the borough is facing, including the rising cost of living, Bill praised the “community spirit” and support South Tyneside residents continue to show towards each other.

Bill’s highlights as a councillor included meeting The Queen on one of her visits to South Tyneside and working in the ward with his late wife Mavis, who was also a Whiteleas councillor and former Mayor of South Tyneside.

Councillor Bill Brady with his wife Mavis, who was also a councillor.

After witnessing the decline of heavy industry across the North East, Bill also believes council regeneration schemes, such as housing development at the former Holborn docklands, will change South Shields for the better.

While Bill will no longer be a councillor after the May elections, he said he will continue to support residents and the local Labour Party.

Cllr Brady added: “What I have learned over the years of being a councillor, is to be honest with yourself.

“When you talk about the younger generation, we should encourage them to be involved, there are a lot of good things about being involved with local politics.

Bill Brady at an election count.

“I have served under four different council leaders and they all have left their mark on the council.

“I would like to say I have been on thirty years and have enjoyed being a councillor and part of the Labour Group and will continue to be involved.

“I would commend Labour candidate Ken Dawes who is looking to take my place and wish him well in the May elections.”

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling South Tyneside’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Gazette’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.

Councillor Bill Brady with pupils taking part in cycling proficiency test with pupils at Forest View Primary School, joined by then-mayor Ernest Gibson, and head teacher Mrs Cheryl Ward.
Bill Brady, left, with fellow councillors on a visit to the Holder House Allotment Project.
Bill Brady (second from left) with Councillor Ernest Gibson, PCSO Caryn Wilson and Pc Rob Lloyd after police began increasing patrols following complaints of motorcycle disorder on Temple Park fields and the surrounding area.
Bill Brady, left, with then Housing Minister John Healey as work began on new bungalows at Brancepeth Road, Hebburn.