Councillor Richard John paid tribute to the outgoing chair of Monmouthshire County Council, Laura Wright, celebrating her exceptional tenure.

When Councillor Wright was elected as chair last year, she faced the challenge of skepticism from various corners of the chamber. The newly-elected councillor had not previously served in the role or taken part in any council meetings, and only one former chair, Councillor Powell, was present among the council members to offer guidance. Despite these hurdles, Councillor John hailed Wright as "one of the best chairs we've ever had."

In his speech, Councillor John applauded Wright for her fairness, impartiality, and unwavering commitment to preserving the rights of backbenchers to contribute and scrutinise the administration. Moreover, he commended her for setting lofty standards for members to abide by, and even for her ability to maintain decorum among the most unruly council members.

One of the key moments in her tenure, he noted, was when Wright had to read the King's proclamation—an immense responsibility that she handled adroitly. Moreover, he emphasised her proactive role in championing mental health causes, both through her fundraising endeavours and the events she attended.

Beyond her official duties, Councillor Wright won hearts with her impeccable manners and good humour, even when making light of Councillor John's recent bicycle mishap involving Lucas's bike.

Reflecting on Wright's journey, Councillor John described her as having made an "impressive start to her political career," marking herself as one of the rising stars of the council. At her youthful age, Wright has the distinction of being the youngest chair the council has ever had, and her addition to the Council's Hall of Fame will noticeably lower the average age.

Councillor John concluded his tribute by noting that Wright's tenure is a testament to the changes the council has undergone in the last 20 years, particularly highlighting the council's transition to a female majority. He acknowledged the significance of having two strong and successful women chairing meetings in such a historical context.

As Councillor Laura Wright leaves her role as Chair, her legacy is sure to be remembered as one marked by perseverance, commitment, and a steadfast devotion to serving her community.