Celebrating 50 years

Our full council meeting on 4 April marked the 50th anniversary of the District Council - and we invited as our special guest David Fearn, the last surviving member of the original Council.

Civic Chair Councillor David Burton presented Mr Fearn with a photograph of the Council from its early years as West Derbyshire District Council (we were renamed Derbyshire Dales District Council on 1 January 1987).

The District Council pictured in 1976

Before the main business of the meeting Mr Fearn recounted his memories of the Council from five decades ago.Mr Fearn was elected in 1973 to represent Darley Dale on the District Council after the Local Government Act of 1972 reduced the number of councils in England and Wales from 1,245 to 412 (excluding parish councils).

West Derbyshire District Council replaced the various urban and rural district councils in our area and the first councillors were elected in 1973, serving as a “shadow” authority for 10 months until the handover date of 1 April 1974.

David Fearn went on to serve as Council Leader and represented his ward for a total of 42 consecutive years until his retirement from the Council in 2015.

View David Fearn's speech on YouTube

Watch from 12 minutes.

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