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Tributes Paid to Former York Councillor

Former Councillor Cyril Waite

3:49pm 18th February 2013

Tributes have been paid to former York councillor Cyril Waite.

Labour Group Leader, Coun. James Alexander, said:

“Cyril was a staunch socialist and trades unionist and spoke in line with his political principles whenever the opportunity arose.  Party Members in Heworth ward confirm this was true until as recently as last year when he still attended branch meetings.  He maintained a keen interest in the workings of the council and in how politicians were reflecting the will of local residents, and wasn’t backward in saying so when he thought this wasn't the case”.

Heworth ward councillor Ruth Potter said:

“As one of the Heworth Ward Councillors who took over from Cyril when he retired, I am always amazed by the number of people who remember him and his hard work for local residents. Local people always speak very highly of Cyril. He was renowned locally for his strong principles and speaking up for local residents. He was greatly missed when he retired and I am sure people will be very sad to hear of his deat h. I remember him asking at my selection for Heworth Ward if I believed in nationalization at the height of the economy; a socialist to the end”.

Cyril served the city with distinction for 23 years, making him eligible to become an Honorary Alderman when he stood down from the council, which he did in 2003.  He also served the city as its first citizen and Lord Mayor in 1986/7.  Sadly in his civic year he lost his wife, Marjorie, which was greatly upsetting at what was supposed to be a happy time for the two of them.  But he continued in the only way he knew how and the sheltered housing scheme which he was due to open that year was named Marjorie Waite Court after his wife who had also been a councillor and very active in the area of adult social services.

A former spitfire pilot in WWII, Cyril worked in the insurance sector after leaving the RAF. He also spent a year at the London School of Economics and was well read in his areas of interest, recently passing on books to the Labour Party on everything from the industrial history of England to applied economics to books by Marx and Attlee.

Cyril had many interests both on and off the council, one of them being York Castle Museum which he was always very passionate about.  Outside his council work he was a keen gardener and spent a lot of time on his allotment close to his home in Heworth.

Cyril was very active in the Labour Party, serving as Vice Chair in the 1980s, and in the Co-op movement for many years, and remains fondly remembered by a number of councillors still on the council today.  He was a unique individual and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. 

The party says it's thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.


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