Small Spanish town names plaza after former Wakefield police officer
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After a spate of burglaries in the first 12 months of living in their new town, Jim formed a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, acting as the area coordinator.
He then spent 16 years as a councillor, working as the deputy mayor for the last three years of his local political career, before he and Susan moved back to the UK to be with family.
They recently flew out to their old town for a holiday, where Jim, who is originally from Scotland, was unexpectedly honoured with the town square being renamed as Plaza Jim Simpson as a show of gratitude for his work as a councillor for over a decade-and-a-half.
He said: “My wife and I retired to Spain 18 years or so ago. After setting up the Neighbourhood Watch scheme I was invited to get involved with Spanish politics.
"I thought ‘Why would anybody want to get involved with that?’ but after discussing it with my wife, I decided to go for it and was elected.
"I spent 16 years working as a councillor, and the last three years as the deputy mayor.”
Serving councillors and the current mayor attended the unveiling ceremony at the square in the village of Llanos Del Peral.
During his time as a councillor, Jim was responsible for public safety, older residents and liaising with the expatriate community.
He added: “It is quite an honour to have the town square in the village named after me.
"I have to say that it was one of the proudest days of my life and it moved me to tears. A small space in my beloved Zurgena municipality will always bear my name. It is a huge honour.”
Now living in North Lincolnshire, Jim and Susan visit Wakefield regularly to see their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren who live in Normanton and their daughter and two grandchildren who live in Wrenthorpe.