As Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead, it is my duty to second the vote of thanks to the outgoing mayor and deputy mayor at the annual council meeting which was held today. I spent part of the morning pulling together notes for the speech as well as sorting a few loose ends regarding the Lib Dem group's representation on committees. I was due in the Civic Centre at 1pm for a naming ceremony for one of the meeting rooms followed by council at 2.30pm. At 12.15, however, I got the call to go immediately to St Bede's Hospice at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Dad was close to passing away. I called Ron Beadle, the group's deputy leader to ask him to stand in for me at council and then headed over the the QE.
The family gathered in Dad's room for about four hours. He had stabilised by the late afternoon. It was clear that he is with us a bit longer. I returned home as I had an engagement to attend this evening.