Fond memories of long-serving Bourne councillor John Smith

South Kesteven district and Bourne town councillor John Smith with the Olympic torch in Boston. Photo: Gerald Wright. EMN-150904-112103001

South Kesteven district and Bourne town councillor John Smith with the Olympic torch in Boston. Photo: Gerald Wright. EMN-150904-112103001

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Tributes have been paid to a man who served his town for 40 years, but for whom family and home life always came first.

John Smith, of Gladstone Street, Bourne, died aged 76 in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a long battle with cancer.

John served on both South Kesteven District Council and Bourne Town Council and was a popular figure among colleagues.

He met his wife Judy at Bourne Grammar School, and they grew closer while members of the Young Conservatives. This week Judy paid tribute to her husband.

“John was a greatly cherished husband, father and father-in-law,” she said. “His home and his family were so important to him.

“His grandchildren Isabella and Scott were very much loved by him.”

John served on Bourne Town Council for about 40 years, and was a South Kesteven district councillor for about 20.

He was also a trustee of Bourne United Charities and served as a governor for Bourne Abbey Primary Academy, where he was a pupil.

“John was extremely pleased when the new school opened in Elsea Park,” said Judy. “He was very much a part of the Bourne community and he worked very hard on behalf of Bourne at the council, and also on behalf of the rest of the district.”

John held several key roles at the district council, and was portfolio holder for healthy environment until his death. He was also given the role of Olympic champion in the run up to the London 2012 games, helping with the torch relay through the area.

Judy said: “He was so thrilled to be involved in the Olympic year. He really enjoyed that role.”

John was a keen Liverpool FC and Blackpool FC supporter, and had a keen interest in railways.

He also loved travelling, was passionate about his church, Bourne Abbey, and helped set up the recently-disbanded Bourne Twinning Association.

John worked with many different councillors during his life. One of those was Lincolnshire county councillor Sue Woolley (Con), who represented the Bourne Abbey ward.

She said: “John was a thoroughly decent man. He was so very kind to me when I first became a councillor. His wealth of knowledge and gentle guidance has stood me in good stead.

“Whilst John was a district councillor and I a county councillor he always wanted to make sure we did our best for the residents we represented. There have been many issues we have worked together on, most recently our wish to see the town hall come back into use. He was so keen to promote and support the possibility of a cinema in the building.

“He was a marvellous man who I will miss greatly.”

John leaves wife Judy, son David and grandchildren Isabella and Scott. His funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

A Bourne Town Council spokesman said: “John was renowned for his absolute integrity and his transparent conscientiousness.

“He could be relied upon to offer a considered and practical view on issues that arose, delivered in his mild mannered but determined style, without exception setting to reflect on the very best interests of the town he loved.

“His passing will be a very great loss to the town and its council, and his intelligence, his patience and his ability to see beyond the superficiality of an issue will be sadly missed.”