Wedding bells ring for election winner

Alan Pannell and Coun Shirley Flint. EMN-151205-140242001
Alan Pannell and Coun Shirley Flint. EMN-151205-140242001

A well-known and respected North Kesteven District Councillor had double reason to celebrate on being re-elected last week.

Shirley Flint, an Independent councillor for the Skellingthorpe Ward, was re-elected on Friday afternoon after residents went to the polls on Thursday.

Shirley, who has been a serving member for 20 years, met her long term-partner, Alan Pannell, 18 years ago. On Saturday they finally tied the knot at a civil ceremony at the Pride of Lincoln hotel, a venue they know well having first met there.

Shirley said: “Alan has not known me as anything other than a councillor, as I joined the council two years before we met.

“I was not going to stand again after 20 years, so we thought it would be a good time to book the wedding for the first available Saturday after the election.”

“We booked it 20 months ago - we don’t want to rush into these decisions,” Alan joked, having been ‘courting’ all these years.

But Shirley went on: “Then six months later I decided to stand again. It has been do-able as we have been out leafleting in Skellingthorpe instead of worrying about organising the wedding.

“Alan was dreading me losing my seat and being at home as he wouldn’t know what to do with me.

“I have my council work and the Local Government Association and Alan goes off on walking holidays. It is the bonus of knowing each for 18 years before marriage - there are no surprises!” she laughed.

Instead of presents (they said they already have a kettle and toaster!) they invited wedding guests to make donations to their chosen charities of Lincoln Cats In Crisis and Macmillan Support.

l For more election coverage, see pages 10-11.