Longest serving Norfolk county councillor set to resign after 45 years

Adrian Gunson

Adrian Gunson

The longest-serving councillor in Norfolk County Council's history has announced his retirement after a remarkable 45 years at County Hall.

Adrian Gunson, who has served the Loddon division since 1970 and was, for many years, the cabinet member for planning and transportation, said his advancing years meant he could no longer represent his constituents to the high standards he had always set himself.

When West Norfolk-born Mr Gunson, then in his late 20s, succeeded Aubrey Shearing as Conservative councillor for Loddon, it was less than 12 months after man first walked on the moon, while Harold Wilson was nearing the end of his first spell as prime minister.

In his role as cabinet member for planning and transportation, Mr Gunson played a key role in the building of a string of bypasses around the county, while proposals for the northern distributor road were also developed under his watch.

Mr Gunson, who lives in Bedingham with his wife Patricia, was made an MBE in 2010, for his services to local government.

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Professionally, Mr Gunson was an insurance actuary for Norwich Union. He was an investment director when he retired in 1997.

He also worked as an evening class lecturer at Norwich City College.

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Dr Christopher Kemp, South Norfolk Conservatives' deputy chairman, said Mr Gunson was held in high esteem by the people he represented.

He said: 'He will be a hard act to follow. I am sure that we all wish him well for the future.'

A by-election for the Loddon division will be held on May 7, coinciding with parliamentary and district/borough/city elections.

Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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