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Tributes to two former Havering councillors who have died

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 March 2018

Former Elm Park councillor Mike Lucas. Picture: Havering Libraries - Local Studies

Former Elm Park councillor Mike Lucas. Picture: Havering Libraries - Local Studies

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Politicians and community activists across Havering have bid a fond farewell to two former councillors.

Mike Lucas, former Elm Park Labour councillor from 1986 to 1994, died earlier this week.

Mr Lucas, who had worked as a social worker in Newham was a popular member of the borough’s Labour group in the late 80s and early 90s.

A statement from the Havering Fabian Society said: “He had great integrity, and when we made a error in an election leaflet naming him as chair of Benhurst School governors rather than vice chair, we manually wrote in the correct title to 4,500 leaflets.

“He was a loss to the Labour Party, and a genuinely decent man.”

He is survived by his wife June; his children Joanne, Kevin, David; and his grandchildren.

Labour councillor Keith Darvill also paid tribute to the work Mr Lucas did whilst a member of the council.

He told the Recorder: “During his time on the council he made a particular contribution to the borough’s education, sitting on the education committee at a time of tremendous change across the borough when we were overhauling our nursery and over 16s provision.

“He was always an inspiring figure and despite the fact his health had suffered in recent years it is a very sad loss.”

Former Liberal councillor Len Parmenter, of Kingshill Avenue, Collier Row, who served as a councillor for six years, also died earlier this month.

Terry Hurlstone first met Mr Parmenter more than 30 years ago while working at a school in Newham, and praised his community spirit.

He told the Recorder: “Len was just an all-round good soul.

“He was a real boon to his community up in Collier Row, and the work he did for disabled sports across Havering can’t be over stated.”

Mr Parmenter was also regarded as “a fencing master” and was regularly celebrated for what one close friend called “his tireless and long commitment to the borough’s disabled sports”, working closely with both the Havering Disabled Sports Association and the Havering Sports Council.

The Recorder’s thoughts go out to both Mr Parmenter and Mr Lucas’ families.

To read more about Len Parmenter’s work in disabled sports, turn to page 69.

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