Preston councillors have paid their respects to Councillor John Browne, who has sadly passed away aged 71.Advertisement
As the longest sitting member of Preston City Council, John worked as Chair of Planning and Chair of Licensing, serving Brookfield since 1983.
On Sunday 13 March, Preston Labour suspended campaigning and said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by the news.
Tributes have now flooded in from across the political divide.
Read more: ‘Deeply loved’ Brookfield councillor John Browne has passed away
Mayor of Preston Councillor Javed Iqbal said: “I was very sad to hear the news of John Browne’s passing and pass my condolences and those of everyone at Preston City Council to John’s family and friends.
“John was a stalwart local councillor, having been elected in May 1983 and since that time served on many committees, including the planning committee and most recently being Chair of Licensing Committee, which he enjoyed very much.
“Living in and representing Brookfield brought him in touch with many people, schools and community groups, where he was a loyal and hardworking ward councillor.
“John was an eloquent and passionate speaker in the council chamber and was liked and respected by those he came across, no matter your political view.
“John will be remembered as a kind man and will be sadly missed by many people across Preston and beyond.”
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Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “John was a deeply loved member of the Labour family, and we are all currently in mourning.
“His spirit, determination and attitude towards people had been undimmed, even by his own ill health. He still carried on doing what he always did – caring about others, which is what he did throughout his career.
“He was very principled in terms of what he thought was the correct thing to do and was also a very selfless guy.
“John was always laughing, was fun to be around and was quite eccentric – in a good way – which I thought was brilliant. But he always put the interests of his residents first.
“Whether you agreed with him or not, John was the kind of politician that everyone respected across the political divide in Preston.
“On a personal level, he was the warmest, most caring individual you could meet as well as being funny and at times quite off the wall. Many of us feel really privileged to have known him and to have had him as a good friend.”
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Councillor Susan Whittam, Conservative Group Leader at Preston City Council, said: “I am very sorry to hear about the sad passing of Cllr John Browne.
“On behalf of my Conservative Group, I send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
“We may have been on opposite sides politically, but John was always very kind to me personally.
“We spent many a time together covering polling stations during elections, and we always had a good chat about everything and not only politics.
“He will be greatly missed in the council chamber.”
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Councillor John Potter, Liberal Democrat Group Leader at Preston City Council, said: “Although many knew about John’s fight with his illness, it’s still sad to see him pass away.
“He was a passionate, funny, and caring man, who always tried to do what was right by the people of Preston.
“On behalf of myself and my group, we would like to pass on our deepest sympathies to John’s friends, family and the local Labour Party.”
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