Son of councillor who died from Covid-19 vows to continue father’s legacy if he wins by-election
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
The son of a Flintshire councillor who died from Covid-19 has vowed to continue his legacy by standing to win his seat.
Kevin Hughes, who represented Gwernymynydd, died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in January at the age of 63 after being admitted with the virus the previous month.
It happened just weeks after the funeral of his mother June Margaret Hughes, who also lost her life to the virus.
A by-election is set to be held next month for voters in the village to choose the independent councillor’s successor.
His son Andy Hughes has officially been confirmed as one of two candidates standing by Flintshire Council, alongside Plaid Cymru’s Bob Gaffey.
Mr Hughes, who will also be standing as an independent, said continuing his dad’s work in the community would be his number one priority.
He said: “Dad was such a keen councillor and over most family dinners he would bring up what he was doing so I was quite involved anyway in terms of what work he had on.
“It was his first term so with him having a year to go, I think it’s fitting and right that we finish off his legacy and that term he worked so hard to get.
“The way dad passed has left a few loose ends and we don’t want to just say that he’s gone and that’s the end of what he was doing.
“We want to make sure we fulfil everything he was working on and get it done.”
He added: “I got my values from my dad and for me, party politics at a local level hasn’t really got a place.
“It’s about helping local people with any issues they’ve got, big or small.”
Villagers lined the streets in their hundreds in January to say a final farewell to Kevin, who previously worked as a police officer and journalist.
Residents applauded as the hearse carrying him went by with Andy, who was brought up in the area, walking at the head of the cortege on its way to the funeral service.
Since his father died, the 37-year-old has raised £8,000 for the intensive care unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, where his dad was cared for in his last days.
He raised the money by walking five kilometres a day – often accompanied by his brothers Chris and Steve – for over a month and recently visited the hospital with his mum, Sally, to hand the cheque over.
Andy, who lives in Connah’s Quay with his wife and four children, said: “I messaged my dad on the 15th of December when we’d had the good news that he’d turned the corner and started to improve.
“I said that I’d do 5k a day until he could join me. It started off with a target of £500 and we quickly smashed that within 24 hours, and it just kept growing.
“Once events took a turn for the worse, we had donations from Hawaii, Canada, Holland and right across the world.”
Voting for the Gwernymynydd by-election will take place on Thursday 6 May.