Tributes paid to ex-Mayor and district councillor

David Murkett, who has lost his battle with cancer. (S)
David Murkett, who has lost his battle with cancer. (S)

Tributes have been paid to former Hambleton district councillor David Murkett who has died.

Mr Murkett – who celebrated his 80th birthday last year – lost his battle against cancer on Sunday, April 15.

Paying tribute, council leader Neville Huxtable said: “David took a great interest in local politics. He devoted most of his adult life to local government and was a well-respected councillor.

“He was a true gentleman and a man of the people – he fought hard for individuals in his Sowerby ward and will be sadly missed.”

Mr Murkett stepped down as a district councillor at the 2010 elections having served a total of 28 years and was honoured for his work last year when he was made an Honorary Alderman.

He was first elected to Hambleton in 1979 to represent the Thirsk ward and served as chairman of both finance and personnel committees.

He lost his seat at the 1995 elections but was re-elected to represent the Sowerby ward four years later, going on to be a member of the planning, audit and governance and scrutiny committees.

He was also vice chairman of the council in 2007/8.

His interest in politics stemmed from his time in Northumberland where he was a parish councillor.

He moved to Thirsk in 1978 and became immersed in local government work – he was a Thirsk town councillor and town Mayor several times, a Sowerby parish councillor and a North Yorkshire county councillor.

He was also a member of the Local Councils’ Association and was a past president as well as the current vice-president of the Yorkshire branch.

A funeral and memorial service for Mr Murkett will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Thirsk, on Friday, April 27, at 1pm.