There are few names as synonymous with Claughton’s Labour Branch than George Davies. 32 years serving as a Councillor in his home ward has certainly made sure of that.
Claughton ward was created in 1980 (it was previously called Cathcart-Claughton-Cleveland). In this time, the Labour Party suffered a number of defeats in the ward during this 8-year period. A positive and energetic campaign led by George brought about the Party’s first victory in Claughton. By the end of George’s first term, the ward would be turned ‘Red,’ thanks in no small part to the continued presence of George, his ward colleagues and branch activists.
George first joined the Labour Party in 1982. He’d always been a Labour voter and was keen to take part in Labour Party activity when his time allowed. No sooner had his children reached High School age, George followed up on his pledge to join and instantly became active in his local party.
Joining the Party certainly wasn’t George’s first foray into political activity. Some years earlier, in 1967, George started working for Vauxhall Motors. Before long, he was a Shop Steward for AEU (later to become Unite) and later became an Afternoon Convenor, working with and learning from a number of seasoned Trade Unionists in the process. During this time, George stood in solidarity with workers during two strikes in the late 1970s and during the 1980s.
By 1986, George had decided to follow up his desire to make a difference in his community. He stood for election in Heswall, a safe Conservative seat, and ran a spirited campaign that would stand him in good stead for what was to come. By 1988, alongside his agent and future ward colleague Steve Foulkes, George would embark on a period of community representation that is now into its fifth decade.
Rather than occupy the Council Chamber’s ‘back benches,’ George was keen to become involved in any way he could. His natural passion for housing, and good quality housing, led to him being asked onto the Council’s Cabinet.
“I worked in Housing for 27 years,” recalls George fondly, “and it is an honour to have done so.”
The fruits of George’s labour can be seen across the Borough, with regeneration programmes having taken place in many wards even today. The most notable sits in Rock Ferry, a community decimated during the 1980s due to the closure of Cammell Laird, leading to families moving out of the area in search of work.
“The 1980s had been a disaster for Rock Ferry,” George recalls. “Cammell Laird had closed, housing was sparse, the area was crying out for regeneration.”
A visit from Central Government gave George the opportunity to state the case for Rock Ferry’s redevelopment. Such was the compelling case George made, a Grant was offered for the regeneration so badly needed – provided George and his team could get cross party support. As it happened, all parties across the Chamber backed the plans and Rock Ferry looks unidentifiable compared to how it once looked.
George remains a well-known and respected figure in the Council Chamber and especially in the ward he continues to serve with distinction. As well as holding regular surgeries, he will often be stopped in the street when popping out for a paper or pint of milk. A pillar of the local neighbourhood, he takes great pride in being known as a ‘Community-focused Councillor.” This extends further than the Labour Party and his ward duties. George currently serves as a Governor for three local schools – Bidston Avenue Primary School (where he is Chair, St Anselms and Birkenhead School for Girls. A measure of his commitment to party and community alike, George has combined these roles with positions in Claughton Branch Party (where he has served as Chair and currently Treasurer). He served as Chair of Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party for 15 years, been involved with Wirral Labour’s Local Campaign Forum and for 7 years served as Deputy Leader of Wirral Borough Council.
When he isn’t being ‘Councillor George Davies,’ George is very much what you’d describe as a Family Man. He is married with a daughter, two sons and 7 grandchildren, all of whom accompany him to watch his beloved Everton Football Club, where he remains a Season Ticket Holder. He remains unequivocal about the support he has had from home over the past 32 years; “I couldn’t have done this job without my wife and family. Their support has enabled me to represent the people in the ward that I know and love.”
Currently serving as the Borough’s Deputy Mayor, George will hopefully assume the full title before too long.
If you would like to contact Councillor George Davies, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org