Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chuter Ede

Last night I attended a joint scrutiny meeting on health at County Hall(Surrey County Council) in Kingston which I will discuss further in my next post. Before the meeting I happened to look round the portraits and the building, unlike Merton Council offices(a nondescript sixties tower block in Morden)it is a fairly historic building with many fine portraits.

One of the pictures on display was that of Chuter Ede, Labour Home Secretary in the Attlee government. He was also elected as Labour MP for Mitcham in 1923(he only served nine months before losing his seat at the General Election) and was the first ever Labour MP for what was then the County of Surrey and the seat covered my council ward of Pollards Hill.What was quite unique was his local government record and he served as the Chairman of Surrey County Council and also Mayor of Epsom whilst an MP for South Shields in the North East(this would be unheard of in this day and age). Surrey has always been a true blue country even prior to local government re-organisation in the sixties and it was quite an achievement that he was elected to this position. This is also testament to his considerable skills and respect he had as a politician that he had been recognised in this way with a portrait in County Hall.


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