Best wishes all round as neighbouring council leader announces cancer battle

By Daniel Mumby - Local Democracy Reporter

16th Nov 2022 | Local News

Councillor Bill Revans, leader of Somerset County Council.
Councillor Bill Revans, leader of Somerset County Council.

The leader of Somerset County Council has announced that he has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Bill Revans became leader of the council following the local elections in May, which saw his Liberal Democrats sweep to power after more than a decade of Conservative control.

Cllr Revans – who represents the North Petherton division near Bridgwater – announced his diagnosis via his official Twitter feed today (16 November), stating he would continue to work remotely while awaiting surgery.

In his absence, deputy leader Cllr Liz Leyshon will assume command – with less than five months remaining to implement the new unitary Somerset Council and set its first annual budget.

Cllr Revans, who also currently serves on Sedgemoor District Council, tweeted the news out as the county council's executive committee met in Taunton to discuss its initial budgetary proposals.

He said: "Following a recent routine scan I was given the news that I have cancer of the kidney.

"Hospital staff have been told me they expect to be able to operate shortly and I have been undergoing further tests to find out if it has spread.

"While I am waiting for the operation and the results of tests, I will be working remotely wherever possible to avoid picking up any bugs, and I have asked colleagues to cover duties when necessary.

"A massive thank you to my family, friends and colleagues for their amazing support."

Numerous councillors have already taken to social media to wish Mr Revans well – including his Tory predecessor David Fothergill, who stated: "Our thoughts and best wishes are with you Bill."

Cllr Connor Payne – the shadow portfolio holder for the environment and climate change – said: "Best wishes to you, Bill. I hope the operation is a great success with a healthy recovery after. I am praying for you."

Cllr Mike Hewitson, associate portfolio holder for transport and digital, stated simply: "Good luck Bill."

Duncan Sharkey, the newly-appointed chief executive of the council, added: "Best wishes Bill for a speedy recovery and keeping up the amazing work rate from home."

Councillors and officials from neighbouring authorities including Bath & North East Somerset Council have also passed on best wishes.

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