Pontefract councillor Tony Dean to retire after 22 years of serving the town

Coun Tony Dean will stand down as a Ponte councillor in May. David Jones, former assistant headteacher at Carleton High School, will be there labour candidate. (p612a504)
Coun Tony Dean will stand down as a Ponte councillor in May. David Jones, former assistant headteacher at Carleton High School, will be there labour candidate. (p612a504)

Pontefract councillor Tony Dean will retire in May after more than 22 years serving on Wakefield Council.

Coun Dean, 66, will not stand at this year’s local election in May.

The Labour councillor, who represents the Pontefract South ward, first served on the council back in 1984.

He said: “I have really enjoyed my time as a councillor. I have enjoyed meeting people and listening to their problems and then attempting to sort them.

“My highlights have been providing good services and in recent years we have done a lot of work with community groups which has been really rewarding.

“But if I would have stayed on I would have been 70 by the end of the new term and I think at that age I need some time for myself.”

During his time as a councillor, Coun Dean has managed to secure improvements at Pontefract’s notorious Town End junction.

Work on a £600,000 scheme to revert the junction to two roundabouts is expected to start next month.

Coun Dean also helped to secure an upgrade of the A1 near Pontefract.

He added: “Transport has always been an issue during all of the time I have been a councillor so I’m proud that I’ve contributed to those schemes.

“I’ve also really enjoyed having public surgeries and meeting lots of different people.”

Coun Dean has also served as chairman of social services at Wakefield Council for eight years.

He added: “Being involved in social services was a pleasure because we were investing in services that were very important to people.”

Coun Dean added: “Part of the reason I am stepping down is that I cannot see a future for local government because of the cuts that are taking place.

“I have always believed in public services and that’s the main issue that’s not happening at the moment.”

Coun Dean thanked the people of Pontefract for their support during his time as a councillor.

The Labour party has chosen David Jones, a former assistant headteacher at Carleton High School, as its candidate for to replace Coun Dean at the local elections in May.