Rugby's longest-serving councillor gets standing ovation as he prepares to retire

Popular Rugby councillor Dr Jim Shera was given a standing ovation by fellow councillors this week as they recorded a special vote of thanks in recognition of his 40 years service to the residents of Benn ward.

Dr Jim Shera - photo Rugby Borough Council.
Dr Jim Shera - photo Rugby Borough Council.
Dr Jim Shera - photo Rugby Borough Council.

Cllr Dr Shera retires from office next month and group leaders paid tribute to him at the start of this week’s (April 26) full council meeting.

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Lab, Benn) led the way, listing his many achievements as well as praising the help and mentoring that she had received from the former Rugby mayor.

She said: “It is a great privilege to stand here before you tonight to support the joint leaders’ vote of thanks to retiring borough councillor Dr James Shera MBE in recognition of his 40 years of unbroken service as the elected borough councillor for the Benn ward.”

She explained that in addition to being mayor of Rugby, he had been granted freedom of the borough, served as Labour group leader and had been awarded the MBE and Star of Pakistan.

Addressing Cllr Dr Shera, Cllr O’Rourke added: “You have served your local community and this town well, representing them locally, nationally and internationally in the most exemplary manner. You are a natural diplomat and always used any influence you may have in the most positive of ways. You have set the standards for those who come after you. This is your living legacy to this council, this borough and to the people of Rugby.

“You are the hardest working person I have met. You are a great mentor. As group leader, your loyalty to me has been the greatest gift you could give me.”

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Paddox) thanked Cllr Dr Shera for all that he had done for Rugby and Conservative leader Cllr Seb Lowe (Coton and Boughton) praised the example he had set to fellow councillors.

He said: “There is no doubt, in my mind, that there is no councillor who is more popular or more greatly respected than Cllr Dr James Shera.

"He has always been open to working across the political divide, working with colleagues regardless of their political affiliations for the good of the people of Rugby.”