Tributes to much-respected former Fleetwood councillor Ron Shewan who has died aged 86

Tributes have been paid to a former Fleetwood councillor who was said to have "lived and breathed" his home town and who has died at the age of 86.
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Ron Shewan was born and bred in Fleetwood and, at various times, represented the town as a Labour councillor at town council, borough and county level.

He also served as the Mayor of Wyre with wife Brenda.

Ron was a councillor with Wyre for more than 20 years, for much of that time representing Fleetwood's Pharos ward.

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The great grandfather died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on February 28 after suffering a stroke, having bravely battled cancer for the past five years.

His death was announced at the full council meetings of both Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council, where a minute's silence was observed and those who knew him paid tribute.

Sign up for our free newsletters now Ron' daughter, Labour councillor and prospective MP Coun Lorraine Beavers, said: " My dad lived and breathed Fleetwood, it was his home town and as a councillor he really wanted to help it any way he could.

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"He started off as a strong trade unionist back in the 1970s, always fighting for workers' rights and social justice.

"That's why he became a councillor in the first place.

"But he was also a family man and his grandchildren really loved him and helped care for him at the end, he was so proud of them."

She added: "I cannot praise the staff at Blackpool Victoria hospital enough, they really did their best for dad and made sure he got the best of care."

Ron was born in Fleetwood and worked in the construction industry before moving on to chemicals giant ICI, which at the time was based in Thornton.

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He married Brenda Somers shortly after returning from National Service in Malaya and they had two children, Lorraine and Steven.

First becoming a councillor in 1997, he retained his place on Wyre until losing his seat in 2019, after which he took a seat on Fleetwood Town Council, despite failing health.

Ron served on Lancashire Town Council from 2013 to 2017, representing Fleetwood East.

One of his highlights as a councillor was serving as Wyre Mayor in 2014/15, a role he came to enjoy despite initially not looking forward to it.

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Lorraine said: "He wanted to be working as a councillor rather than spending a year in that role but he ended up loving it, because he met some inspirational people from across the whole of Wyre and really admired all the various volunteers and the excellent work they were doing."

At the full council meeting at County Hall on Thursday (March 14), tributes from six councillors were led by County Coun Alan Vincent.

Coun Vincent, a fellow Fleetwood man who had represented the rival Conservative group on Wyre, said: "I knew Ronnie for a lot of years through our time on Wyre. I have to say that he didn't have a bad bone in his body...He was patently a fighter and he fought that illness almost to standstill.

"On one occasion, when he was Mayor, we were crossing swords and he and I had quite a spat and I led the Conservative group out of the chamber.

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"Afterwards he advised me very quietly, when we were having a drink, on why I was wrong, why the monitoring officer was wrong, why the Chief Executive was wrong and he was right! But that was Ronnie.

"But he never held a grudge, he was always friendly, he was a good councillor and a great family man, I know that for a fact, and his family will miss him dreadfully and so will I."

Labour member Coun Azhar Ali said: "Fleetwood ran through his blood, everything, the centre of the universe, ran through Fleetwood, or it was Fleetwood. He lobbied hard for projects in Fleetwood and made real passionate speeches about it and his people. He was a real socialist.. and he will be sadly missed."

Ron's funeral will take place at St Nicholas's Church, Fleetwood, at 1.30 pm on Friday March 22, followed by a short service at Carleton Crematorium.

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Among family members he leaves are wife Brenda, children Lorraine and Steven, grandchildren Rachel, Claire, David, Lynsey, Josef and Amelia, great grandchildren Charley, Emily, Paige, Connie and Ronnie and older sister Jean.  

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