Rest In Peace Edith
I am sad to report the passing of Honorary Alderman, Edith Randall, who passed away on Wednesday evening.
Edith was one of the best known characters in Totton.
A staunch Conservative, she represented Totton as a Hampshire County Councillor from 1977- 1981 and then Totton South from 1981 -2005.
It is fair to say that Edith was very much part of the community and already a political legend when I appeared on the scene.
Despite having our political differences, we always got on well.
The rather sad ending to her political career was actually initiated by the local Conservative party.
Despite her years of experience and high profile, she wasn’t selected by the party to re-stand as a County Council candidate in 2005.
Instead, they went for a younger person.
Edith was sufficiently offended by the decision that she decided to stand for the election anyway, not as an official Conservative candidate, but as an Independent.
It was the first election that I stood as a Lib Dem candidate.
Edith’s decision robbed the Conservatives of the seat, because the resulting split in the vote between those supporting Edith and those voting for the official Conservative, enabled myself to pull off a shock win as the Liberal Democrat candidate.
It gave me the chance to prove myself to the voters and I have been the County Councillor ever since.
There is a slight irony in a Liberal Democrat directly benefiting from a First Past the Post voting system.
I recall waking up the morning after my election win and getting a phone call from Edith.
She congratulated me and said that if I ever need her help and advice, then I should just ask.
She loved the job and clearly wanted to carry on.
It must have been agonising to have been rejected by the party she loved and supported for so long and to then have lost the election.
I think that says volumes for her character.
She was a very hard working public servant.
May she rest in peace.