Sean Brennan talks about his decade as Sutton Council leader
Sutton Council leader Sean Brennan has spoken of his achievements and controversies throughout the last ten years as he steps down from the role.
Coun Brennan, 68, came to the UK from Ireland in 1968 to work as a teacher in Southend. He planned to travel the world; but ended up teaching until he retired in 2000.
He was elected as Sutton ward councillor in 1986 and described his involvement as "serendipity".
He said there are three things which he is the most proud of; the quality of education in the borough, its localism - in giving power to local people in decision making - and the borough’s green credentials.
Councillor Brennan said the Take Part Take Pride festival showed people in Sutton are proud of where they live and that they want to help out.
He said: "We are one of the longest running councils - one of our successes is listening to our residents, since 1987 we’ve had a Mori poll every two years.
"The last Mori was 6 months ago and nine out of 10 people tell us they are satisfied with the council - that’s what we are here for - providing top quality services for our residents."
When it came to the more controversial issues such as the High Street, Mr Brennan said: "I think we learnt lessons from the High Street about project management.
"Trinity Square was one of those things which grabbed a lot of attention- it wasn’t what people expected or what the architect promised.
"I’m not afraid - and never have been as a leader - to say when we have got things wrong."
He said the lessons learnt from Sutton High Street were important when it came to Wallington High Street where they consulted residents and businesses.
Coun Brennan is married with two children and has two grandchildren.
He said balancing his private life with being leader is a challenge but family life is what keeps you sane.
He is now looking forward to stepping down and representing Sutton Central ward.
He said: "The fantastic thing about being a councillor is the people you meet; you meet committed people who really are an inspiration and who have devoted years to a cause - many of them unsung heroes."