Banbury’s ‘Rock and Roll’ mayor is honoured

Family and colleagues of Cllr George Parish cutting the ribbon opening the road named in his honour at Banbury Rise development. NNL-170212-184255009
Family and colleagues of Cllr George Parish cutting the ribbon opening the road named in his honour at Banbury Rise development. NNL-170212-184255009

One of Banbury’s best loved former mayors has been commemorated with a road named in his honour.

Cherwell District Council chairman Cllr Maurice Billington and Cllr Chris Heath together with Banbury Rise developer Bloor and local residents commemorated the late George Parish with a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the new George Parish Road.

George Parish

George Parish

The new road is located on Banbury Rise estate and its naming comes just over a year after the former mayor passed away.

Cllr Billington said: “We are very proud to be opening George Parish Road along with our partners. We could not choose a better name to mark this new area with Banbury’s local history.

“George Parish deserved to be recognised as ‘People’s Champion’ having served as a Labour district councillor for more than 20 years and everyone in Banbury felt an immense sense of loss at his passing last year.

He added: “He dedicated his life to public service, campaigning in several occasions to defend the Horton as a fully functional district general hospital.”

George Parish NNL-161127-114518001

George Parish NNL-161127-114518001

Banbury town councillor Mark Cherry, said: “I’ve lived in Bretch Hill all my life and I’ve known George Parish as a friend, a respected campaigner who tenaciously fought with fellow activists to successfully save the Maternity Unit at the Horton (2008) and for his hard work as labour councillor in Ruscote.

“He was my inspiration to go into local politics and I take pride in my contribution in getting George Parish Road named after him. His name and legacy will now live on.

Mr Parish was widely known for his dedication to public service, as a Labour district and town councillor, as a shop steward at General Foods and as the leader of the campaign to save the Horton.

Sue Edgar, chair of Labour health matters, said: “I worked alongside George from 1993 to 2000, mostly with him as Chair and me as Secretary of the CLP, and Press Officer at Banbury Health Emergency.

“He was a complete star - kind, clever, energetic, a natural leader, and a Banbury man through and through. He gave his best years to saving the Horton, and he saved it time after time. We still have a hospital because of George.”

Chris Shaw, regional planning manager for Bloor Homes Western, said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome George Parish’s family at our Banbury Rise development for the opening ceremony of the road named in his honour.

“Mr Parish was known for his dedication to the community, and we are delighted to be able to recognise his highly influential work.”