• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

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Rugby Union international is new Chairman of Durham County Council

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.57.43A former Rugby Union international has been appointed as the new Chairman of Durham County Council.

Vice Chairman for the previous 12 months, Cllr Edward Bell, who represents the Deneside Ward in East Durham, succeeds Cllr Jan Blakey.

A former sergeant with Durham Constabulary, Cllr Bell, is married to Jennifer, who also represents Deneside.

They were married in 1970, and have two children, Helen, a mother of four who is an RAF worker and a son Christopher, a car transporter who also has four children.

Well known for his sporting exploits, Cllr Bell, who attended Robert Richardson Grammar School, Ryhope, was a Durham and Northumberland schools’ 100 metres and 400 metres athletics champion.

He played Northern League football for Shildon, Evenwood and Ferryhill Athletic and in the Wearside League for Blackhall and Murton.

But it was at Rugby Union that Cllr Bell excelled, representing England against the Rest of the World at Twickenham playing prop. He further represented the North of England against Romania and Australia and played for Durham County over 40 times, many as captain. His club sides were Durham City and West Hartlepool.

The chosen charities of 66-year-old Cllr Bell during his term in office are Dementia Durham and the North East Disabilities Resource Centre.

On accepting his appointment, Cllr Bell presented Cllr Blakey with the former Chairman’s medal, and praised the outgoing Chairman when he said: “Having worked with Jan, you soon realise what a dedicated councillor and superb ambassador she has been in her year of office.

“Jan has been such an inspiration to me regarding so many aspects of being Chairman of the Council.

“If you had to pick a role model on which to learn and base the role of Chairman of Durham County Council, Jan Blakey would pass that test with flying colours and I have been privileged to have been mentored by such a lady.”

Elected as Vice Chairman is Reverend Michael Dixon, who represents Aycliffe and North Middridge, and lives in Newton Aycliffe.

An Anglican priest, Cllr Dixon, 73, studied Theology at Durham University and was ordained at Durham Cathedral.

By admin