Two Trafford Council ‘giants’ have received the posthumous title of Honorary Alderman.
Ray Bowker and Jane Baugh, who both died in 2020, received the special award at an Extraordinary Meeting of Trafford Council on Wednesday.
Honorary Aldermen must have made a significant contribution to the Council and the people they represent, and the Council was unanimous in its decision that Mrs Baugh and Mr Bowker fitted that description and more.
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of the Council, nominated both for their extraordinary years of service to the Council and their communities. He said:
"Ray had a tremendous amount of passion for his work as a councillor, for his ward in Timperley where he lived all life, for young people. He’s very sadly missed and few people could ever hope to match the contribution he has made to this Council.
Jane made a tremendous contribution to the Council. She was a strong advocate for the arts and for our young people but anything Jane felt strongly about, boy did we know it and boy did she fight for it.”
Mrs Baugh served as a councillor for 30 years. She served as the borough’s mayor in 2011-12 and raised more than £26,000 for charity in that year.
Mr Bowker served on the Council for more than 42 years and was the borough’s mayor in 2000. In 2002, he was awarded the MBE for services to the community and he also served for more than 40 years in the Boys Brigade.
There was unanimous cross-party support for the proposal to make Mrs Baugh and Mr Bowker Honorary Aldermen, with political leaders praising Mrs Baugh’s commitment to the arts, in particular the refurbishment of Sale Waterside theatre.
Mr Bowker’s years of service was also highlighted, being called a man of the people and who served the people. Tributes also came from former Trafford mayors, with Cllr Rob Chilton calling the two ‘giants’, while Cllr Tom Ross said Mr Bowker was ‘a fantastic millennium mayor’.
Current deputy mayor Cllr Chris Boyes, who chaired the Extraordinary Meeting, said: “They were both taken before their time and will be sorely missed.”
During the online meeting, relatives of Mr Bowker and Mrs Baugh thanked councillors for their tributes.
Peter Baugh, husband of Jane, said:
"I am really humbled. The tributes to Ray and Jane have been phenomenal. I am just gobsmacked at the way in which you all rallied round and supported this occasion.”
I am honoured to receive this award on her behalf.”
Neil Bowker added:
"It’s been incredibly touching for both families. It’s a privilege to receive this award on behalf of my father.
One of my father’s greatest values was solving problems for the community together. He was in the Council to help people and that’s all he ever really wanted to do. It was a massive part of his life and I know he will be looking back on this in wonder and amazement, and feel very proud of everything that’s been said about him.”
The Extraordinary Meeting, which includes the proposal and tributes, can be viewed on Youtube.
Posted on Friday 29th January 2021