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Town council pays tribute to former mayor

Wednesday, 30th October 2013.

Town councillors held a minute’s silence in memory of former town mayor Cllr Les Ager before their meeting last night.

Cllr Ager, a central figure in music in the town for nearly 50 years, and a town and borough councillor, died last week aged 75.

His funeral will be next Wednesday, November 6 at 11.30am at the Old Independent Church.

Town mayor Cllr Roger Andre spoke on behalf of all the town council in paying tribute to Cllr Ager.

He said: "Les’ contribution to the arts in Haverhill cannot be overstated. For many years he has been heavily involved with the award-winning Haverhill Silver Band, and was its conductor for 30 years.

"He was also a founder member of the Haverhill Operatic Society, and conducted nearly 50 of its musicals. Earlier this year Les received the British Empire Medal from the Queen for his services to music in Haverhill.

"Les was elected to Haverhill Town Council in January 2006. He joined the town council as it emerged from a period of political turmoil, and helped bring a sense of stability and dignity to the council chamber.

"He sought re-election in May 2007 and was successful. He was also successful in being elected to represent Haverhill East Ward on St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

"Also in 2007 Les was elected deputy town mayor of Haverhill. He was unexpectedly thrust to the fore when later that year, town mayor Ted Trebble died.

"Les found himself leading a newly-elected town council, and was elected town mayor in February 2008, a role he occupied until May 2009.

"During that time he attended in excess of 200 Mayoral functions each year, as well as presiding over town council meetings. He also served as chair of the town council’s arts and leisure committee.

"During Les’ mayoralty the town council continued to expand its range of services to the town and people of Haverhill.

"Under his stewardship the town council was awarded Quality Town Council status in 2009, and became one of the 60 largest town councils in England.

"As part of his mayoral term Les marked his 70th birthday in 2008 by combining his love of music and his commitment to the community in holding a free-to-attend brass concert for the town in the market square.

After his mayoralty, Les continued to be an active town councillor, taking up issues on behalf of his constituents and frequently representing the council at events both inside and outside the local area.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Les’ family at this time, and particularly with his wife Jean who we understand has only just left hospital following treatment for injuries sustained in a road accident.

"I am sure the town will turn out in force to remember and to celebrate the life of a man who has truly earned his status as a leading Haverhillian.”



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