A PERMANENT tribute to former Claines councillor Stuart Denlegh-Maxwell who died suddenly in June just over a year after returning to the council was unanimously approved by council chiefs.
Coun Andy Stafford’s proposals for a bench in memory of the popular Conservative won cross-party support at a meeting of the city council last Tuesday (November 19).
Mr Denlegh-Maxwell passed away at the age of 60, leaving behind a wife, four children and four grandchildren. He returned to the Guildhall in May 2018 after a 24-year gap from Worcester politics to continue his family’s long association with serving the city.
His former Claines colleague Coun Stafford told the meeting the River Severn held a special place in the heart of Mr Denlegh-Maxwell.
“In his childhood he would swim in the river, he had a long-term association with the rowing club, and would regularly walk his dog Daisy along the riverside,” said Coun Stafford.
“The reason for the motion is twofold, to ask for a bench to be dedicated in his memory and for councillors to share their memories of him.
“Stuart was a dedicated councillor, in fact the last e-mail I received was on the Sunday the day before he died.
“He was always positive, kind and compassionate and he had so much more to give Worcester,” Coun Stafford added.
Fellow Claines councillor James Stanley backed the proposals and hailed the former councillor as a ‘valued colleague and a personal friend for nearly four decades’.
Labour leader Coun Adrian Gregson backed the bench bid and praised Coun Stafford for bringing the propoals to the chamber.
“I am sure Stuart would have contributed much more to the life of this council,” he added.
Mr Denlegh-Maxwell’s mother Anna was a magistrate for 25 years on the Worcester bench while his grandfather Roger Bertie Roberts was the grandson of John Corbett, also known as the Salt King. John Corbett represented Droitwich in Parliament for 17 years, was a great philanthropist of his day and did much to transform Droitwich, leaving an indelible print on the town.
Green Party councillor Neil Laurenson also lent his support and said Mr Denlegh-Maxwell had agreed to speak at an event being organised in the city next year which will now be held in his memory.
Mayor of Worcester Coun Allah Ditta paid tribute to Coun Stafford and all those who spoke to remember their former colleague.
“I really do think this is a good idea and a fabulous way to honour Stuart for his service to this city,” he added.