A tribute to Alderman David Becket

I remain sad about David Becket’s death last week. He was a friend, a fellow councillor and local party activist, with whom I frequently enjoyed talking. To say he was an activist is an understatement; he was always ready to act and to comment, often critically. His critical comments included constructive suggestions. Indeed he contributed enormously to what we were able to say as a local party on a whole range of matters. At council meetings he would often open his voice with the words “I’m not happy” and that made officers prick their ears and listen, subsequently respecting the good that resulted from it.

His biggest contribution to the Borough was the way he revolutionised the organisation of waste and recycling on the Borough Council, enabling a huge rise in the amount recycled and gaining national awards.

I am grateful recently for the help he gave us in responding to the council’s proposed local plan; typically he identified key issues and did some research on these.

He contributed to our production of messages and leaflets on local and national issues; indeed he did so much, including for his ward of Halmer End and Betley, that he leaves a hole that should be filled somehow.

Although he was speedy in criticism, he also acknowledged when others made correct remarks and maintained friendship with everyone. He had high standards of behaviour.

He had a passion for community work and politics. His main concerns nationally were for the Environment, the Economy for the less well off and opposition to financial waste, bureaucracy and conservatism. He was a left-leaning Liberal of the best sort.

Nigel Jones

Secretary and former chair,

Newcastle under Lyme Liberal Democrats

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