Thursday, 10 December 2009

Round-up: Death Of A Mayor

Former Mayor of Reading and Freeman of the borough Bob Green has died aged 72 - and local sources have been quick to mark the passing of the well-known and respected veteran politician with tributes in inimitable indivudula style.

Reading Borough Council issued an official notice in the news section of its' public website. He is described as having a reputation "for honesty and fairness" across the political divide and "one of life's true gentlemen".

Mr Green served 13 years on Reading Borough Council since the authority was established in 1995 (having sat on Berkshire CC previously), becoming Mayor for the millenial celebrations in 2000 and was elected only the seventh Freeman of the borough in 2008.

The official quotes from the leaders of the three political groups on Reading Borough Council are chronicles by the newsdesk of the local press, and reprinted by the Labour-leading Reading News Items and Green party activist Adrian Windisch.

LibDem leader Cllr Kirsten Bayes described Mr Green as "a fair-minded, dedicated public servant, devoted to Reading and its people" and a personal mentor to her.

Labour leader Cllr Jo Lovelock siad he was respected for his intelligence and politeness, while Conservative group leader Cllr Andrew Cumpsty called him a model councillor who was an example to all.

Conservative opponent Cllr Richard Willis manages to get in several partisan digs while describing Mr Green as unfailingly courteous, who was "a good debater and always had a the ability to speak fluently and spontaneously."

Reading Post offers a more personal view, interviewing his widow, Jill. Linda Fort explains his passion for dramatic arts lead him to become a founding member of the Caversham Theatre group and notes that he had spent his final day at a local farmers market and watching rugby highlights before passing away peacefully at home in his sleep.

Mr Green had been suffering from prostate cancer and as recently as this summer used the unique insights of his experience to intervene in the row over NHS funding. He described his treatment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital's cancer unit as "absolutely wonderful," "rapid and efficient" and "without fault".

Oranjepan says:
I met Bob Green on a number of occasions and can only echo the sentiments of others.

He was a strong personality with an incomprable depth of experience and knowledge of a wide range of issues who let his passion for a subject show through. His love of the theatre gave him a dramatic flair which made him an excellent performer in council debates to enliven even the driest of dull political topics.

Reading's civic life is all the poorer for his passing.


  1. enjoying the new tom waits11 December 2009 at 00:50

    A pity Richard Willis cannot resist making partisan digs - even on the death of a former ward colleague. It says as much about Willis as it does about Bob Green.

  2. PROSTATE, not PROSTRATE cancer!!!


  3. I'm afraid I can't find any digs from Richard. A pity you are dragging it down to the personal level yourself.

  4. Ahem, JB, do you think Cllr Willis is in an objective position to judge what is a 'sensible course' for an opposing party?

    How many of the hundreds of smaller political parties in the country do you think will be irritated by his remark that there are only two 'big' parties when as the third of them Bob Green's party gained 6 million votes last time out?

    Both those remarks are political digs.

    So whether you recognise them or feel them appropriate or not is a measure of your own biases, I'm afraid.


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