TRIBUTES have been paid this evening to former long time Thurrock councillor and ex mayor Barry Palmer who has passed away.
Mr Palmer first became active in local politics in the seventies and was a stalwart member of the Labour Party for many years. He was first elected in 1984 and became mayor of the borough in 1994.
Current Labour group leader Cllr John Kent served alongside him for many years and even though a difference of political opinion saw Mr Palmer leave the Labour group in 2000, Cllr Kent remains full of admiration for him.
He said this evening (Thursday, 16 July): “Barry was originally a Labour councillor and though there was parting of the ways after almost 30 years service there was always an incredible amount of respect for Barry.
“He was, for many years, a firm but fair chair of the planning committee.
“He was particularly strong on campaigning against the impact of the tip at East Tilbury and fought for the rights of villagers against it for many years.
“To sum up, he was an old-fashioned, good ward community councillor who will be missed by many people.
“My condolences to his wife Jan, his family and friends. He will be very much missed.”
Current East Tilbury councillor Fraser Massey, who – like Mr Palmer – was elected as an independent non-aligned councillor to represent the village, said: “It’s an honour to stand in the footsteps of a man who served the local community so well and so passionately.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends.”