TRIBUTES have been paid to a nurse, mother and councillor who served as Lord Mayor of Swansea and campaigned for years against the closure of a hospital emergency department.
June Stanton, who has died aged 93, was described by her daughter Judith Twining as devoted and caring. One serving councillor said she was and continued to be “a great inspiration”.
Mrs Stanton – nee Hanney – was born in Nelson, Caerphilly, and moved frequently as a child with her mother and father, who was a policeman.
She started nursing training in her late teens at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary. It was there she met Dr John Stanton. The couple got married on her 21st birthday.
Dr Stanton was then posted to Hanover, Germany, to do his national service as an Army medical officer. The couple had their first child, Nicholas, there before returning to Wales.
Dr Stanton worked as a GP in Mayhill while his wife looked after Nicholas and his younger siblings, Judith and David, before resuming her career as a nursing officer at the teacher training college in Townhill and Mount Pleasant.
Mrs Stanton became involved in local politics and was elected as a Swansea city councillor in 1988, representing Sketty until she retired as a Swansea councillor in 2017.
Much of her focus was campaigning against the closure of the emergency department at Singleton Hospital, Sketty. Mrs Twining said she believed her mother’s efforts helped keep it open in one form or another for quite a while.
Mrs Stanton served as Lord Mayor of Swansea in 2013-14 with – her husband having died – Mrs Twining as her consort.
Mrs Twining recalled staying over at the Mansion House, Ffynone, on a couple of occasions after hosting functions there. “My mother thought it was a bit spooky!” she said.
Mrs Twining said her mother used to chat about her younger days – about the house moves due to her father’s work and the football matches she went to with him.
“She was devoted, caring, loving and very protective,” she said of her mother. “She worked very hard. She was also a great support to my father and to her children in everything they decided to do and take on.”
Mrs Stanton had six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Sketty councillor Mike Day said Mrs Stanton consistently topped the poll for the ward in every election she stood in, firstly as an Independent and then as a Liberal Democrat.
Cllr Day said:
“She was always concerned about services to local people and was a real inspiration to me in taking up politics. Her energy levels were incredible, and I had great difficulty keeping up with her on the campaign trail, even though she was older than me!”
Fellow Lib-Dem Sketty councillor, Cheryl Philpott, said Mrs Stanton was direct and forthright, but always campaigned passionately for the causes she believed in. “She was, and continues to be, a great inspiration,” she said.
Cllr Chris Holley, Lib-Dem leader in Swansea, said:
“June Stanton was a person who believed in her constituents before anything else, and was not afraid to speak her mind about issues that were controversial.
“I had the privilege of knowing her and her late husband, John, for many years. They were always supportive of our aim to bring local politics to local people. A woman who will be sadly missed.”