Tributes have been paid to former Mayor and deputy leader of Northampton Borough Council Terry Wire who has died in Cynthia Sencer Hospice.
Councillor Wire, who had been battling cancer, has been a borough councillor for 19 years and is the leader of the Labour group on the local authority.
The 73-year-old, who was also a former Northamptonshire County Councillor, served as Labour chief whip on both authorities, chairman of the county council, vice-chair of Northants Police Authority and deputy lieutenant in 2010.
Councillor Wire was well-known for raising £27,000 for Cynthia Spencer Hospice from his April Fools Harley Davidson Run.
Before entering local politics Terry was a firefighter in Northampton.
Mayor and Labour Group Leader Elect, Councillor Les Marriott, said: “I was deeply sad to hear of Terry’s passing. He was close friend of mine for many years and my thoughts are with Fran and the family at this sad and difficult time. He fought his illness, which he had over more than a decade, with much courage and bravery.”
“Terry was somebody that cared deeply about improving the lives of local residents in the communities he represented. He always worked hard as a councillor and wanted to improve the wellbeing of the town and its people. He was deeply proud serve in public office.
“As Labour Leader he secured the Freedom of the Borough and as a former firefighter that meant a great deal to him.
“At the same time he was a deeply political animal and as Chief Whip he kept an iron discipline on the wider Labour Group. Terry was usually one step ahead of his political opponents.
“I know that I and many other colleagues across the political divide will miss him greatly.”
Councillor John McGhee (Lab, Kingswood), the Leader of the Labour Group on Northamptonshire County Council, said: “I am extremely sad to learn of Terry’s passing. He was an outstanding councillor and close friend of mine.
“He dedicated his life to working for people across our county and fought hard to bring about positive changes as a public servant.
“He served with openness and honesty throughout his time on Northamptonshire County Council. It was a real pleasure to work with him.
“As a former Chairman of the County Council, his passing is sad not only for his family and friends, but for the entire Northamptonshire community. He will be missed by many.
“Our thoughts are with Fran and his family at this sad time.”
Sue Bownass, Community Fundraiser at Cynthia Spencer Hospice said Councillor Wire was instrumental in raising money for the hospice.
She said “At the recent Harley Run (which he set up 10 years ago) Terry, as poorly as he was, was there along with all his family. His determination to be there was plain for all to see. I feel privileged to have worked alongside Terry over the years and will miss him. The Terry Wire April Fools Harley Run will be one of many legacies Terry leaves”.
John Helm, Fundraising Manager at Cynthia Spencer Hospice said “Terry has given the Hospice such fabulous support for over a decade and the people of Northampton, in particular those connected to the Hospice will miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with Fran and Terry’s familiy at this time.”
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council said Councillor Wire was a “formidable opponent” who would be sadly missed by all at The Guildhall.
He said: “I was very sad to hear that Terry Wire had lost his long battle with cancer. He was a formidable opponent as Labour leader at The Guildhall and someone who had served Northampton for many years, culminating in his terms as Mayor of Northampton and chairman of the county council.
“Although we are from different political parties, we had common purpose in trying to work hard and improve Northampton and I will always remember Terry’s pride last year, as a former fireman, when the Fire Service was granted the Freedom of the Borough. He will be sadly missed by all at The Guildhall. My thoughts are with Fran and their family.”