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Heartfelt tributes to Councillor Norman Kay


Councillors from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to Councillor Norman Kay, who died this week.

Councillor Kay, who represented Nailsworth and Horsley, died on Tuesday, December 12. He was 77.

“Norman has been a political force in Stroud district since he was first elected to our council over 40 years ago,” Council Leader Catherine Braun (Green, Wotton-under-Edge), told the full Stroud District Council meeting on Thursday, December 14.

“Norman was a passionate advocate of Stroud district and has a distinguished record of service. He did not hold back from speaking his mind on issues of social justice and environmental justice, as well as being a real champion for equalities issues. We will miss him greatly.”

He was elected to Stroud District Council six times, first in 1983, serving a total of 21 years as a district councillor initially as a Labour member then in later years as a Green. He also served on Nailsworth Town Council for 14 years including three as mayor.

Independent Left Group Leader and Deputy Council Leader Natalie Bennett (Nailsworth and Horsley) said: “A former social worker, Norman was passionate about many things, including housing and the work of the Equalities, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Working group that he chaired really ably at its inception and continued to be a really valuable member of. We will all miss him in that group massively.”

Community Independents Group Leader Robin Layfield (Rodborough) said: “He was passionate, committed to equality and throughout a really driving force for equality in the Council. He wasn’t afraid of asking those difficult questions.” 

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Ken Tucker added: “We disagreed on many occasions, but he’d always say ‘I disagree with you, but we’ll always stay friends’ and I really appreciated that.”

Labour Group Leader Steve Robinson (Nailsworth and Horsley) said: “He did so much in the district and contributed in Nailsworth, and I would just like to say, Norman, I’ll miss you. You taught me so much over the years.”

Conservative Group Leader Councillor Lindsey Green (Conservative, Berkeley) added: “He had a presence and regardless of political views, we would agree to disagree on various things. But I think we can all agree that Norman will certainly be very sadly missed and this chamber will not be the same.”

Councillors Mattie Ross (Independent Left, Stonehouse), Haydn Jones (Conservative, Berkeley) and Nigel Studdert-Kennedy (Conservative – No Group, The Stanleys) also paid tribute to Councillor Kay.

SDC Chief Executive Kathy O’Leary said: “On behalf of all the staff here at Stroud District Council, our condolences to his wife, Kate, who’s very much in our thoughts, at this sad and difficult time.”

A funeral date will be announced in due course.

There will not be a by-election for the vacancy but all SDC seats will be up for election on May 2.

Full tributes can be viewed at a recording of the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWcuyz1q5wE

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