Tributes to former council leader

FORMER South Gloucestershire Council leader Ruth Davis has died, following a short illness.

Politicians from all parties on the council have paid tribute to the former Yate Central ward councillor, who stepped down at May’s local elections and was made an honorary Alderman in July in recognition of her 32 years of service.

She passed away on December 2.

First elected to the predecessor Northavon District Council in 1991, Ruth was a founder member of South Gloucestershire Council in 1996 and went on to be the council’s leader between 2005 and 2007.

She served as chair – the council’s equivalent of a mayor – from 2021 to 2022.

Ruth led the council’s Liberal Democrat Group for 13 years and is said to have “supported a strong theme of partnership working” during her time as a councillor.

Current council leader and fellow Lib Dem Claire Young said: “Ruth made a huge contribution to our communities over the 32 years she served as a Councillor, including as Leader and as Chair.

“She was always incredibly generous when it came to helping others and I know many of us will greatly miss her friendship and wise counsel.”

Council co-leader and Labour councillor Ian Boulton said: “Ruth epitomised the way we have long tried to work in South Gloucestershire, as someone who worked for the benefit of our community regardless of any political differences. 

“She encouraged, supported and provided respected advice to many of us and, while we have lost a political opponent, we have also lost a friend.” 

Conservative group leader Sam Bromiley said: “Ruth was a very able and hard-working councillor and former leader of the council, and was respected by colleagues from all parties and by members of the wider community.”