Tributes to Jim Kirkwood: Driffield councillor was 'Labour stalwart'
TRIBUTES have been paid to one of East Yorkshire's best-known politicians.
Jim Kirkwood died in his sleep at home, aged 91.
He served as a Labour councillor on the old East Yorkshire Brough Council, Driffield Town Council and East Riding Council.
He was a founding member of Driffield Town Council, serving for 30 years until retiring in 1999.
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Twice mayor of Driffield, Mr Kirkwood was also East Riding Council's first chairman on its inception in 1996.
Current East Riding chairman Chad Chadwick said: "He was a very principled man who was always very involved with the local community.
"I served with Jim on the old East Yorkshire Borough Council for five years. During that time he was dedicated to serving the people he represented.
"He will be sadly missed."
Councillor Chadwick said Mr Kirkwood often found himself as the lone Labour voice in councils dominated by Conservative politicians but always stuck to his convictions.
Councillors at this week's full monthly meeting of the East Riding authority observed a minute's silence in memory of Mr Kirkwood, who lived in New Road, Driffield.
A similar tribute was paid at a recent meeting of Driffield Town Council.
A statement issued by the East Yorkshire Constituency Party said: "It is with deep regret that we have to report the death of one of the real stalwarts of the local Labour movement.
"Jim Kirkwood passed away on July 17, aged 91.
"Our thoughts are with Margaret and the rest of his family.
"Jim served for many years on Driffield Town Council, East Yorkshire Borough Council and East Riding Council.
"He was a very principled man, who did everything correctly.
"He voted for what he believed in and let the results take care of themselves. He spent years as the only Labour representative on councils and still got results.
"He instructed his younger colleagues to play by the rules, to attend all the business meetings but not to take unfair advantage of privileges and expenses.
"Despite all this, he still had time for a joke.
"He would cast aside any depression after a lost motion in council, make us all laugh and tell us to get on with the next job.
"In these days of double-dealing, jumping on bandwagons and general mercenary behaviour by many people, we wish there were more like him."
Mr Kirkwood was heavily involved in almost every major issue in Driffield over the past 30 years and was also a director of the Driffield Navigation Trust.
He is survived by his wife and daughter Susan.
A funeral service was being held at Driffield Parish Church today at 10am.