City and party honour long-serving councillor and former Lord Mayor of Birmingham

JW

Birmingham City Council has honoured former Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham councillor Jim Whorwood for his contributions to the community over a political career spanning five decades. The former Lord Mayor of Birmingham was made an Honorary Alderman of the City at the recent annual meeting of the Council. As Lord Mayor in 2001-2002 he represented Birmingham on a visit to New York following the September 11 attacks to hand over donations raised by Brummies. Mr Whorwood said: "I visited the site of the Twin Towers in New York to express condolences, in particular to the relatives and colleagues of the fire brigades and police - a memorable but very harrowing experience." He was also Chancellor of the University of Central England (now Birmingham City University) in 2001-02.

At a meeting of Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Liberal Democrats held on 27 May, a resolution was passed thanking Jim Whorwood for all his work as a Liberal and Lib Dem councillor since he first stood for election to the former Sutton Coldfield Borough Council in 1959. Jim won his seat on Sutton Council in 1965 and served until 1974 when the Council was merged with Birmingham. He then served on West Midlands County Council. He was Liberal Parliamentary candidate in Sutton Coldfield in 1992 and 1997 and was elected to Birmingham City Council in the Acocks Green Ward (later renamed South Yardley) in 1997 - standing down in 2010. The local party also wished to acknowledge Jim's work as an election agent in many local and Parliamentary elections between 1970-2009 and the immense contribution he made as a fund raiser for nearly 50 years, mainly through ballroom dances and big band events. Jim organised a monthly buffet dance at Mere Green Hall (now demolished) between 1970 and 2001 and produced an average of four big band events a year at Sutton Town Hall (all complete sell-outs) up until the early 1990s when the City Council took them over.

Born the son of a cabinet maker and raised in Sutton Coldfield, Jim was a wartime pupil at the Duke Street Infants and then Victoria Road Boys Schools and moved on to the Handsworth Junior Tech. He did National Service from 1955-57 and then went on to a career in teaching and lecturing at Coventry University.

The local party wishes Jim an active and happy retirement from the Council, if not from Lib Dem politics.