Mr Graham P Jackson OBE BEM JP
|At the Parish
Council meeting on the 17th May 2005 the chairman of the council, Cllr
Peter Jacques announced that the council were pleased to celebrate
Cllr Jackson's 50 years serving on the Parish Council. Cllr Trevor
Chaukley gave a brief resume of Cllr Jackson's 50 years and the council
made a presentation of an inscribed rose bowl. The chairman read out a
letter of congratulations from the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay.
The May edition of Smoke Signal published an interview with Cllr Jackson. It is re-produced in full below:
Years as a Parish Councillor
Although born in Sharlston,
Graham considers himself a Croftoner having moved into this village at
the age of two. He has
always been interested in politics and especially in community matters.
His grandfather was involved in the Sharlston community and it
was instilled into Graham … “Don’t moan – Do something!”
a young married man, living in the Cock & Crown area, he would
occasionally hear a small group of four old men sitting on the wall by
the war memorial, talking about the old days.
He also heard them complain about the Parish Council never doing
anything for residents of that part of the village.
So Graham decided to act – he joined the Labour party.
1955 Graham was nominated by the Labour party to stand for election to
the Parish Council. He was duly elected in May 1955 and the first
thing on his agenda was to provide a seat, built into the wall by the
war memorial, and still there today.
always enjoyed election time – every four years he would be knocking
on doors, talking to residents, canvassing on behalf of the Labour
Party. And every four years he was re-elected to serve the
community, until recent times when lack of candidates meant that
Councillors were returned unopposed with no local elections taking
place. Even more disappointingly in the last few years Councillors
have had to be co-opted, a sad reflection on a thriving village with a
in 1955 when Graham was elected it was a very different set-up.
To stand a chance of getting on the Parish Council you had to be
a Labour party member and you had to be voted for by party members.
So even before the Parish Council election, there was an
‘internal’ election for the 11 best candidates – 6 men and 5
of Graham’s main interests has been in education.
In 1955 there was only one school in Crofton, the one on the High
Street, with pupils often having to use other premises – the Sunday
schools and the Parochial Hall – to accommodate the increasing
the number of schools increased, Graham joined each Board of Governors,
serving on them until he had to relinquish two positions when new rules
restricted membership to two governing bodies.
He chose to stay with the
the early 1970s Graham was instrumental in re-forming Crofton Cricket
Club after a lapse of about 10 years.
The club had been forced to disband when the farmer refused to
let them use his field. As a
governor of the High School he persuaded the school to let the Cricket
Club use their sports field. He
was also a member of the local Labour party which managed to persuade
the West Riding County Council to keep the Sidings, rather than sell it
for development, and eventually the Cricket Club got its own pitch.
Acquiring the Sidings for the use of the village, particularly
for sporting activities, brought Graham great satisfaction.
He was also pleased that, when Henry Daley was Chair of
Environmental Health, he secured funding to purchase
were two other achievements by the Parish Council that Graham remembers
with some pride and amusement. One
was the building of the first brick bus shelter in the village – in
New Crofton opposite the Slipper. There
was a Grand Opening performed by Albert Roberts, MP, who ceremoniously
cut the ribbon. More such
bus shelters were constructed by Searby’s, a local builder, and they
are still there today.
other achievement, of benefit to the whole village, was the change over
from gas lamps to electric street lighting.
Graham and Henry Daley went to
there was one disappointment in the past fifty years it would have to be
the loss of the railway stations in Crofton.
On more than one occasion he has raised the suggestion of having
a new station at Santingley, even having it included in the District
Council’s Unitary Development plan.
his career as a Parish Councillor and School Governor, he could always
rely on support from his wife, Joyce and the friendship of fellow
members, in particular Alderman Andrew Dwyer and Cllr Henry Daley.