Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tributes to Jim Hanley

Whitley councillor Jim Hanley collapsed suddenly on Friday morning after suffering a suspected heart attack. The 51-year-old was taken ill at his Caversham home before being moved to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he died.

The former chair of RBC's planning committee and member of the influential CCEA scrutiny panel was respected on all sides for his diligence and hard work.

Labour's group leader, Cllr Jo Lovelock called him "a hardworking colleague and a good friend," and Cllr Bet Tickner agreed, "He was such a nice guy, very helpful and very hardworking."

Whitley's Cllr Rachel Eden says he was "a passionate and kind ward colleague" with strong political beliefs who "also consistently stood up for Whitley residents."

Former Labour representative Tony Jones describes him as 'a councillor of distinction' and 'one of the good guys'. He recounts Cllr Hanley's leadership of the official inquiries into criminal street activities along the Oxford Road, ensuring no 'quick or superficial answers' were found to the serious problems that had arisen.

Jane Griffiths concurs (but then adds this).

Labour activist Duncan Bruce remembers him as kind, funny and intelligent - a truly rare mix!

Opponents were also shocked by his passing.

LibDem Cllr Daisy Benson recalls the generous spirit he showed to her when first elected, "he went out of his way to be friendly... in what was an otherwise pretty hostile political environment." She praises his legacy of a series of health and social care scrutiny reviews which have had a lasting impact on borough policy.

And Cllr Gareth Epps voices his personal sadness at the loss of an effective and popular man, which he says will be felt by all who knew him.

Cllr Hanley had recently announced that he was not planning to seek re-election after 12 years in the role of elected representative, having newly qualified as a social worker.

In unrelated but timely news, Reading Borough Council recently announced it had become a signatory to the national charter for the bereaved, which ensures 'the highest standards of care for people who have lost loved ones'.

Update: An outpouring of sincere grief has been added with various new comments from Cllrs Willis, Warman, Swaine, Chowdhary.

These include "one of life's gentlemen," "charming and friendly," "one councillor who bore no grudges," "a credit to public life," "the nicest guy in the Labour group," "a genuine community champion."

Richard McKenzie adds his recollections.

1 comment:

  1. Great bloke.Deepest sympathy to family and friends. MIck, Kimberley ,Danny and Nathen. Whitley


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