Tributes have been paid to Trafford Lib Dems councillor Ray Bowker who has died aged 83.
Mr Bowker was first elected in 1973 and was a life long Timperley resident, he was a councillor for the Village ward up to his death.
In 2002 Cllr Bowker was awarded an MBE for a lifetime of service to the community, which he described at the time as “absolutely the greatest honour of my life.”
Trafford councillors paid tribute to Ray:
Anna Fryer from Trafford Lib Dems said on Facebook:
“Sad to hear of the passing of Trafford’s Liberal Democrat councillor, Cllr Ray Bowker MBE RIP.”
Steven Adshead said:
“Really saddened to hear the news, I have known Ray for over 30 years, never a more hard working Councillor always on hand to offer wise words and will be sadly missed.”
Liz Patel said:
“Very sad news, kind and welcoming to me as a new councillor, a decent man, liked and respected cross party, lots of love to his family.”
Kevin Proctor said:
“Really sad news, Ray was really friendly and supportive and worked relentlessly for the community, he will be greatly missed, my thoughts go out to his family.”
Chris Boyes said:
“Desperately sorry to receive this news, I have known Ray as a friend and a colleague for just a few months short of 40-years, he was in every respect a first class citizen.”
Geraldine Coggins said:
“So sorry to hear this, when Dan Jerrome and I were elected he was helpful and friendly, he has great knowledge and unrivalled experience of the council after his many years there. He will be sadly missed, thoughts are with Hazel and the family.”
Ex Lib Dems councillor Neil Taylor said:
“RIP Councillor Ray Bowker, we go back a long time and had differences but always has my utter most respect.”
Mayor of Trafford Rob Chilton said:
“Ray Bowker was a tremendous advocate for Trafford, and his dedication to his Village Ward was an inspiration to everyone, Ray would regularly remind us that the communities we serve should always be our first concern.”
Council Leader, Andrew Western, said:
Ray was a long-standing councillor who served the council with distinction and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
He was honest, dedicated and caring, and always wanted the best for the people he represented and for Trafford as a whole.
While we were not in the same party we worked closely together. He was a trusted friend and adviser and I held him in the highest regard. When Ray spoke people listened and Trafford has lost one of its best councillors.
He had a lifelong commitment to helping young people in the borough and was passionate about wanting to improve their lives.
My thoughts are with his wife Hazel, his children and grandchildren and all his family and friends at this sad time.”
Other councillors paid tributes on social media, we are still waiting for a statement from Trafford Lib Dems group although we have one small statement from Anna Fryer which can be seen above.