Tributes paid to former Blackpool mayor Henry

Former Mayor Henry Mitchell outside the town hall
Former Mayor Henry Mitchell outside the town hall
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Tributes have been paid from both sides of the political divide to former Blackpool Mayor Henry Mitchell who died on Tuesday.

Henry, 87, had represented both Anchorsholme and Bispham for the Conservatives during two stints on the council between 1979 and 2015 when he stepped down and was made an alderman.

Read more Blackpool in mourning for charismatic former mayor Henry Mitchell

He was Mayor in 1998/9.

He will be given a civic funeral which will take place on Friday November 9 at 2pm at St Stephens on the Cliffs followed by private burial at Bispham.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative group on Blackpool Council, today led tributes to his former council colleague.

He said: "Henry was a hard working and extremely well liked councillor and in his Bispham ward most people knew him by name and by sight.

"In council he was a fair but no-nonsense Conservative representative on the committees he was appointed to and right up to his retirement he held an exemplary attendance record.

"He was a former Mayor who was respected by all members from both sides of the council chamber and someone you could always depend on for sound and intelligent advice.

"Blackpool Conservatives have lost an honoured ambassador and the town will miss one of the most hardworking councillors in its history."

Leader of Blackpool's Labour controlled council Coun Simon Blackburn said: "When I was first elected to the council some 16 years ago, Henry was very kind to me, and offered the hand of friendship from the Conservative Group.

"He was always happy to offer advice and give me the benefit of his expertise.

"Following a particularly tense and bad-tempered meeting, as we left the room, he put his hand on my shoulder and whispered that I reminded him of his younger self!

"We’ve missed him since he left the council in 2015, but were pleased to appoint him as an alderman to recognise his decades of public service.

"We’re all really sorry to hear of his death, and our thoughts are with Andy and Jillian.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard also paid tribute.

He said: "During his many years as a member of Blackpool Council, Henry provided a strong voice for the people of Bispham and always stood up for Blackpool.

"Being made an alderman of the borough was a just reward for his service.

"I know Henry will be missed by a great many people and my thoughts are with his family at this time."

The flag has been flown at half mast at Blackpool Town Hall as a mark of respect.