It was with great sadness that Monmouthshire recently lost a great man, with the passing of my good friend Bob Greenland.
The Reverend County Councillor Bob Greenland has been one of the most significant individuals in the county and, indeed, across the region for many years.
Bob joined Monmouthshire County Council in 2004, representing the Devauden ward,
He was immediately a great asset to the organisation; an intelligent, thoughtful and kind individual who cared deeply about people and their communities. He strove to make things better in all that he did.
Over his 18 years at Monmouthshire County Council, 13 of which he was my Deputy Leader, Bob held responsibility for economic development, town regeneration, the Local Development Plan and, of course, leisure and much more. He also held pivotal regional positions in the Shared Resource Service, the Education Achievement Service, and the Cardiff Capital City Region.
Bob was key to economic development in our county, with Abergavenny being a prime example: Against great resistance he brought about positive change to the town, driving forward with plans for a new supermarket, enhanced public realm, including Brewery Yard. In tandem with this he pledged to deliver a new Monmouthshire Livestock Market to replace the outdated facility where Morrisons now stands, and he did - he delivered on all counts. His sheer determination, tenacity and vision, often in the face of massive opposition, demonstrated the many attributes of this man.
Bob’s innate ability to see the possibilities of doing things differently led to a new concept of leisure provision delivered in Monmouthshire.
Monmouth Leisure Centre is another of his legacies, where it was created under his leadership; a facility that broke the mould on the old conventional style leisure centres that often offered little and certainly didn’t generate income to pay for themselves. He wanted to see this model rolled out right across the county and I dearly hope the new council will do this.
Bob’s innovative and commercially-focused vision, coupled with a strong sense of social justice, has delivered many opportunities for many people and their communities.
Bob Greenland was an exceptional man and a dear friend, someone who gave so much more than he took.
He will be greatly missed, and my thoughts are with his wife, Scilla, and their family.