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Tributes paid to a true man of the people
TRIBUTES are being paid to a former leader of Worcester City Council who has died aged 89.
George Randall, who was made a Freeman of the City after 30 years’ service in public life, led the authority from 1980 to 1992.
He was first elected to the St Martin’s ward, which is now known as Warndon, in 1966 for the Labour Party and continued right up until his retirement in 1995.
After becoming Labour’s group leader in the early 1970s he went on to be elected to the county council for 20 years. His impact was so great, the old council chamber at the Guildhall was renamed the Randall Room in the mid-1990s after a unanimous vote on it by councillors. Some of his biggest achievements were introducing free bus travel for pensioners for the first time ever in the early 1990s, pedestrianising the High Street and planning the £85 million CrownGate shopping centre development. Councillor Adrian Gregson , leader of the Labour group, said: “Under George’s leadership, the council introduced local community centres and started a free bus pass for pensioners – long before it was fashionable elsewhere.
“Although widely opposed at the time, much of George’s legacy is now accepted as a given in the city.” Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of the city council, said: “George Randall was a very well respected man. He had a long and distinguished career, serving as leader of the council for 12 years – a record which speaks for itself.”
Present Mayor of Worcester Councillor Roger Berry said: “Many of the city council’s major developments in the 1990s were down to his persistence.”
Mr Randall used to work for the Ministry of Defence as an officer with the Royal Radar Establishment in Pershore. Mr Randall, whose wife Irene died several years ago, lived in Arboretum and was often seen frequenting pubs in the area to talk to residents. The father-of-two was also a member of the RAF in the 1940s as an instrument fitter and spent time in India and Egypt.
Funeral details have yet to be released.