Tributes paid to longest serving Stratford District Councillor

Peter Barnes
Peter Barnes

Tributes have been paid to a Stratford district councillor and former Warwickshire County Council leader who died last week.

Cllr Peter Barnes passed away on Friday, January 3. He was aged 78 and had represented Welford on the district council for the past 29 years making him their longest serving councillor.

Stratford District Council chairman Cllr Chris Kettle said: “We have lost an experienced and hard-working councillor.

"I regularly saw Peter, one of life’s characters, arriving by bicycle, regularly accompanied by Max his dog, who often joined Peter in his frequent appearances at planning committee or for evening councillor training.”

Further tributes were paid at this week’s regulatory committee of Warwickshire County Council which Cllr Barnes chaired in 2009/10.

Cllr Kate Rolfe said: “I will miss him. I will miss his uniqueness - I don’t think there was anyone ever like Peter and I don’t think there will be ever again. He was a complete one-off."

And Cllr Anne Parry added: “Since being elected to Stratford District Council, Peter took me under his wing because I went straight into sitting on the planning committees.

"He gave me terrific support, knowledge and also patience when he would help explain. He went beyond his call of duty and was a great mentor to a lot of councillors particularly on the planning committees.”

Cllr Barnes was first elected in a Welford ward by-election on November 15, 1990, as a Liberal Democrat and he served until May 2015 when he was re-elected for the newly named ward of Welford-on-Avon, but now as an Independent.

He was also a county councillor and was first elected for Bidford-on-Avon division as a Liberal Democrat in June 2001, where he served continuously as such until he lost the seat in May 2013.

He went to school in Solihull before attending Agriculture College in Moreton Morrell and becoming a farmer and holding several positions at various farms.