Tributes have been paid to long-serving, former Banbury councillor and one-time mayor Fred Blackwell, who has died.
The councillor of 45 years was described as a ‘leading light in politics and good causes’ after dying at the Horton General Hospital on Wednesday (December 13).
Mr Blackwell served on the now defunct Banbury Borough Council before being elected to Cherwell District Council, representing Easington ward.
He served as Cherwell’s chairman for two years from 1981 to 1983 and the title of Honorary Alderman was conferred on him in July last year in recognition of his decades of dedication to the district.
Banbury Town Council leader Kieron Mallon said: “Fred Blackwell was one of the last links to the old Banbury Borough Council on which he served.
“For many years the name Fred Blackwell and Easington, where he was elected for the Borough, Cherwell and Banbury Town councils, were seen as one and the same.
“For 40 years, Fred was a leading light in local politics and good causes. His work for Banbury Charities was unstinting and until only very recently he would attend and chair their charity meetings.
“Fred served as Mayor of Banbury and was the first and only councillor to have been made an Honorary Alderman of Cherwell District Council.
“Banbury has lost a man who’s public service for Banbury and North Oxfordshire will stand as a beacon for those of us who follow to try to emulate.”
Me Blackwell’s commitment to the people of Cherwell was demonstrated by his service on a wide range of committees.
The flag at Bodicote House will fly at half mast in memory of Mr Blackwell until after his funeral.
Cherwell council leader Barry Wood said: “Fred Blackwell was a very well-known and liked councillor, both among council colleagues and in the wider community.
“He will be remembered as an extremely hard-working councillor who fulfilled a wide range of duties on council committees, and for passionately representing the views of the communities he served.
“And as anyone who had the pleasure of working with him will recall, he was also a highly likeable man who afforded everyone who met him the greatest courtesy and respect.”
Mr Blackwell is survived by a son and daughter.