Walkway honour for former chief

Councillors, friends and family of the late Steve Weaver, the former Blackpool Council chief executive, who was killed in a cycling accident last summer, as a new road has been named in memory of him
Councillors, friends and family of the late Steve Weaver, the former Blackpool Council chief executive, who was killed in a cycling accident last summer, as a new road has been named in memory of him
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A ‘visionary’ leader’s contribution to Blackpool has been recognised at a special naming ceremony near to one of his finest achievements.

Steve Weaver, Blackpool Council’s former chief executive, died in a cycling accident in France last year.

The 64-year-old was one of the key supporters of the Talbot Gateway, a multi-million pound project to transform a rundown area of Blackpool opposite a vital entrance to town – the railway station at Blackpool North.

To recognise his efforts and contribution to life in Blackpool, a walkway which runs next to Number One Bickerstaffe House in front of the grassed area opposite George Street was unveiled in his honour.

Among guests at the newly-named ‘Weaver Walk’ was Mr Weaver’s daughter, Ruth, and Coun Val Haynes, Mayor of Blackpool.

Coun Haynes said: “Steve was unique and was very much a visionary who loved Blackpool. We’re standing here today and you can see the result – the fantastic Gateway into Blackpool we now have today. This dedication is extremely well deserved.”

Mr Weaver, from Blackburn, was killed in May while cycling near his holiday home in Provence, France.

Following his death a special video tribute was paid to Mr Weaver – who was chief executive of Blackpool Council from 2002 to 2011 – at last year’s Ride The Lights event on the Promenade.

Mr Weaver came up with the concept, now an annual curtain-raiser to the Illuminations, along with several other ideas for the town.

He played a key role in securing the regeneration of parts of the town centre, as well as in other schemes including the tramway and Promenade upgrades.

Plans to rename the road in Mr Weaver’s honour were revealed last year.

Speaking in June at a full council meeting, tributes were paid to the former chief executive.

Former council leader Coun Peter Callow recalled the role Mr Weaver played in the purchase of The Tower and Winter Gardens by the council.

He said: “I think he did a wonderful job for Blackpool under both administrations.”

Coun Pamela Jackson said Mr Weaver had taken a personal interest when her husband Fred, also a councillor, had been taken ill several years ago. She said: “Who got on the phone to me, who got on the phone every day? Steve Weaver.”