A MAN who led Wrexham Council for a decade and pioneered the development of one of the area’s most popular parks has had his long-service to public life celebrated.
A ceremony was held at Trefynant Cemetery, Acrefair, in honour of Cllr Warren Coleman, who represented the Cefn Ward on Wrexham Council for more than 40 years and remains involved in local politics.
Cllr Coleman, 77, joined Wrexham Council in 1973 and served it continuously until standing down two years ago. He remains a member of Cefn Community Council, which he joined in 1968.
As well as his unbroken record of service, Cllr Coleman was Mayor of Wrexham from 1984 to 1985 and led the local authority from 1979 to 1989.
In the early 1990s, he led the campaign to establish the Ty Mawr Country Park near Cefn Mawr.
Reflecting on the creation of the country park, Cllr Coleman said: “That was quite a battle, but we managed it. And now it’s more than popular and it has set the stage for other groups like the country park in Llay to follow us.”
At a service attended by Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones, AM Ken Skates and councillors, a bench was unveiled at the cemetery marking the councillor’s achievements.
Cllr Coleman said: “People were there I hadn’t seen in a long time. Even the weather was good. It was touch and go originally.
“It was very, very enjoyable, and it was nice to see people respected what I had done.”
Asked if his younger self would have been surprised at the notion he would serve on the council for more than four decades, Cllr Coleman said: “Absolutely, though all I can say is I must have been enjoying what I was doing.”
Cllr Coleman, who lives in Acrefair and has lived in neighbouring Cefn Mawr and Rhosymedre, was leader of the Labour group and Wrexham Council during the 1980s.
But he said he respected current councillors for facing the decisions they have to make to cut millions from their annual budgets.
He said: “It’s hard going now, they’re having to make some very difficult decisions.”
Cllr Ken Bathers, chairman of Cefn Community Council, said: “It was fantastic. The AM and the MP were there and some 40 or so distinguished guests and people that had worked with Warren, such as former officers.”