Former mayor leaves legacy of dedication

Rob Evans
Rob Evans

A former Chipping Norton mayor who also served as a town, district and county councillor has died after a year-long battle with cancer.

Rob Evans was part of the Labour Party for 40 years. He died on Sunday morning aged 74.

Chris Johnson, chairman of the Witney constituency Labour Party which includes Chipping Norton, said Mr Evans leaves behind a legacy of “absolute dedication”.

He said: “He was just such a lovely, gentle guy who was liked and respected across the political spectrum. There has been a huge number of tributes from opponents and although we knew about his illness, he strolled on as best as he could and still attended meetings. He was an example to us all.”

Mr Evans became a town councillor for Chipping Norton in 1983 and was on the council until 2011. He was mayor in 1995 and also represented the town as a county councillor from 1997 to 2005. He was elected as a district councillor last year and remained in the post until his death.

Councillor Derek Cotterill, chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Rob was extremely dedicated to representing the people of Chipping Norton and did a lot of good work on behalf of the town, where he was highly respected by all.

“He was a much-liked colleague and we are very sad to hear the news of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Mr Johnson said that Mr Evans was proud of his Welsh roots, and in the final weeks before his death was able to spend time with his family walking in Wales.

He was also presented with a Labour Party Merit Award by leader Ed Miliband, which recognised a lifetime of outstanding service to the Labour Party.

Mr Johnson said: “Rob is going to leave a huge gap behind in the party. He was also committed to the Co-Op Party and was always generous and helpful.”