With a Party membership stretching beyond 60 years, in Wales, Scotland and now here in Wallasey, it is safe to say that Councillor Adrian Jones has a tale to tell.
Currently in his 8th Term as a Councillor for Seacombe, where he was first elected back in 1995, with a spell as Mayor in 2008, Adrian is a widely respected figure in his ward and amongst his peers, in large part due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of his local community and the Labour Party as a whole. His manner in the Council Chamber, in Group meetings and in ordinary conversation is unmistakeably awash with accurate observation and dry humour, spoken eloquently in a South Wales accent.
It was in 1959 that Adrian decided to join the Labour Party, in the build-up to the General Election of the same year.
“A canvasser, Albert Vaughan, had come knocking on the door. As it happened, I was too young to vote. Nevertheless, he asked me back for a cup of tea and a chat about the Labour Party with him and his wife. After borrowing some of his ‘Left’ books I joined.“
Becoming an active party member combined well with the beginning of Adrian’s working life as a trade unionist. Leaving school at the age of 15 to ‘enter the real world’ was a challenge that he was more than equal to. Various jobs, working in a docks timber yard, labouring on a council road-works gang, on motorway construction, as a grave digger and at the Llanwern iron & steel works, where he joined BISAKTA, all helped to form Adrian’s view of trade unionism and the world in their own way.
After a few years, Adrian felt a career change beckoning. In the evenings he attended economics classes with the National Council of Labour Colleges, going on to study history, economics and philosophy at Coleg Harlech, in North Wales, before entering Swansea University as a mature student where he took a politics degree. A spell as a union organiser with NUPE (now Unison) for about seven years preceded a career lecturing political economy and history. After a break for a few years Adrian and Chris had a village pub in rural Scotland for a while before he returned in 1990 to trade union organising as UCU’s Northern Ireland Regional official – working from the union’s Liverpool office. It was here that he and Chris, a life-long NHS nurse, settled into the Seacombe home where they remain today, to raise their family of three.
Within 5 years, the Party had come calling again, this time to stand for election in Seacombe. Winning 3,200 votes and boasting a 2,885 majority, Adrian certainly made an impression at the first time of asking. More than a quarter of a century later his sense of community and civic pride continues to be well-received by local residents. Adrian has truly become a pillar of the Seacombe community, also getting involved with various charities across Wallasey. This is evident at St Paul’s Children’s Centre in December, when a bearded gentleman in a red cloak has for several years brought season’s greetings to dozens of local families.
If you have any questions or local issues to raise with Councillor Adrian Jones, you can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org