Tributes paid to former councillor

Bob Robertson.
Bob Robertson.

Tributes have been paid to a former Morpeth town councillor following his sudden death at the weekend.

Bob Robertson was an independent member of the local authority between May 2013 and May 2017 and he worked for Fiat Group Automobiles UK Ltd.

Before being elected to the council, he was a prominent member of the successful Lights Out! campaign to remove the traffic lights at the Telford Bridge junction.

He was then one of the founders of Morpeth Matters – a Facebook group now with around 18,000 members.

Morpeth Mayor Nic Best said: “Bob Robertson was my friend for 10 years.

“Although he was politically centre-right, he had no truck with party politics and was a true independent of the old school, contributing his wide work and life experience to the work of the town council and the good of Morpeth. He was a huge advocate of common-sense solutions.

“He had a strong sense of the absurd, something that brought us together, and was sensitive to anything he perceived as being hypocritical or self-serving, but otherwise would work with anyone regardless of their politics.

“Morpeth will be the poorer for his passing.”

Coun David Towns, Pegswood ward county councillor, met Bob through the public outcry over the traffic lights.

He said: “We spent many months working together and with others to get the lights removed and we were ultimately successful. This was in no small part down to Bob’s persistence, determination and persuasive manner.

“He was instrumental in steering Morpeth Matters through massive growth and in dealing with difficult topics of discussion and some difficult characters within the group.

“For Bob, this was all about making Morpeth the best possible place to live and work.

“Shortly after being elected to the town council, he joined the board of trustees of the King Edward VI School Foundation – again because he wanted to make a difference.

“Bob had a great sense of fairness and a tremendous sense of humour. I enjoyed going for lunch and coffee with him and discussing vintage cars and his time in the motor trade.

“He had a story for every occasion and a great way of telling them.

“I shall miss him dearly and I send my heartfelt condolences to his wife Jennifer, their two sons and the rest of Bob’s family.”

A minute’s silence was held before proceedings began at the meeting of Morpeth Town Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee last night.