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Tributes are paid to dedicated councillor
TRIBUTES are being paid to a former Worcester politician who has died at the age of 86.
John Griffiths, who spent a total of 15 years on the city council in two spells, has been described as a “pugnacious man who stood up for all he believed in”.
A former fire service controls operator and official for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), he was first elected to the authority in 1973 for the Labour party in Nunnery.
He stood down in 1976 only to return four years later, and went on to spend another 12 years at the Guildhall .
The staunch left-winger, a former deputy mayor of the city, he was chairman of both the transport and environment sub-committees during his time at the Guildhall, and a county councillor.
During his political career he frequently made headlines in what was then the Worcester Evening News, and was well known for his opposition to toll roads.
Mayor of Worcester Roger Berry said: “He was a very active councillor and his death has brought back lots of memories, as you would imagine.
“He was an active trade unionist with the FBU and I remember he had a very strong personality.
“John was a pugnacious individual who would stood up strongly for all he believed in.
“I remember just before one election period he broke his leg, and we were joking that he’d have no chance of getting around the ward to canvass for votes.
“We put out a leaflet with him on crutches too. But he ended up getting re-elected with his biggest ever majority – that was typical of him.”
Councillor Derek Prodger , a fellow former mayor, said: “He always spoke with great knowledge and was an excellent, dedicated councillor – my condolences go to his family.”
Mr Griffiths, who lived in Wyld’s Lane during the 1980s and in his later years Winchester Avenue, St John’s, joined the fire service in 1962.
Five years later he became Worcester’s leading fire control operator and in 1975 he was promoted to senior operator in charge of the station crews before retiring in 1986.
During his career he was also a wireless operator in the Royal Navy from 1943 to 1946.
He is survived by wife Ida, three sons, John, David and Stephen, and his six grandchildren.