Veteran Chesterfield politician Tony Rogers celebrates 80th birthday

Tony Rogers in his office, surrounded by memories from his decades in politics. Picture by Jason Chadwick.
Tony Rogers in his office, surrounded by memories from his decades in politics. Picture by Jason Chadwick.

Veteran politician and community stalwart Tony Rogers is celebrating his 80th birthday today.

And Mr Rogers - who has spent 55 years knocking on doors locally and further afield in various political roles - has revealed he is considering standing in the Chesterfield Borough Council elections in 2019.

Tony Rogers in his office, surrounded by memories from his decades in politics. Picture by Jason Chadwick.

Tony Rogers in his office, surrounded by memories from his decades in politics. Picture by Jason Chadwick.

The Liberal Democrat said: “I have persuaded many people to become council and parliamentary candidates over the years, putting my arm around their shoulders and asking them to remember just two things - never forget that you are a servant of the people and never feel important.”

Mr Rogers, of Heaton Street, Brampton, was born in Cornwall and held a number of political roles in the West Country.

The grandfather said: “When I arrived in Chesterfield in 1985, the Liberals were 22,000 votes behind the Labour candidate at the previous General Election.

“I was the Liberals’ candidate in Chesterfield in the 1987 General Election.

Tony Rogers with Vince Cable, current leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Tony Rogers with Vince Cable, current leader of the Liberal Democrats.

“After that election, which was won by Tony Benn, I received a letter from the secretary of Chesterfield Liberals thanking me for everything I had done to help them move the vote from 9,000 at the previous General Election to 15,500.”

As a Chesterfield borough councillor, Mr Rodgers helped many thousands of residents over the years - and he is still assisting people.

Mr Rogers is chairman of Hope Springs, a drug and alcohol recovery centre on Newbold Road, and continues to deliver leflets and listen to residents’ concerns.

The sports fan said: “Should I be fit, healthy enough and required to be a candidate in the next borough council election, it will be my 30th election.

Tony Rogers with Sir David Steel, who was leader of the Liberal Party.

Tony Rogers with Sir David Steel, who was leader of the Liberal Party.

“Within my career, I have served on six different authorities in two different parts of the country during my 55 years.

“One could say that I have given my life, which could not have been done without the total support of my wife and family.”

Asked for his proudest moments, Mr Rogers said: “I have had nine visits to Buckingham Palace, which included two personal presentations.

“I’m very, very proud that the Liberals went from nothing in Chesterfield to running the town hall for nine years and doing a very good job.

Tony Rogers at a ceremony with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Tony Rogers at a ceremony with the Duke of Edinburgh.

“The people of Chesterfield have been so good to me.

“Thank you.”

Tony Rogers campaigning in Chesterfield town centre with former Liberal Democrats' leader Paddy Ashdown.

Tony Rogers campaigning in Chesterfield town centre with former Liberal Democrats' leader Paddy Ashdown.