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Tributes paid to greatly admired Suffolk politician Duncan MacPherson

PUBLISHED: 10:18 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 21 April 2018

Duncan MacPherson served as a councillor in Suffolk for over 25 years. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Duncan MacPherson served as a councillor in Suffolk for over 25 years. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a greatly admired and long-standing Suffolk politican who passed away last week aged 63.

Duncan MacPherson (centre) pictured with councillors Ron Snell and Kathy Pollard at Stowmarket Library. Picture: PHIL MORLEY Duncan MacPherson (centre) pictured with councillors Ron Snell and Kathy Pollard at Stowmarket Library. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Labour member Duncan MacPherson, who at one point served at all levels of local government simultaneously, made a great impression on his community over the course of an impressive political career that spanned over 25 years.

Politics was a very important part of Mr MacPherson’s life, and it was through the Labour party that he met his wife-to-be, Suzanne Britton. The couple went on to have a son together, who is now 25.

At the peak of his career, Mr MacPherson was chair of the education committee at Suffolk County Council, where he served from 1989 until 2005.

Chris Mole, who was county council leader and Ipswich Labour MP at the time, said: “He was a very loyal and supportive colleague.

“He carried out the then very important role of chair of the education committee with gusto and panache. He was absolutely on top of his brief and I think made a major contribution to moving Suffolk schools forward in the 1990s.

“He was someone who was great to have batting for you.”

Mr Mole added that Mr MacPherson was the type of councillor who always held down a job in addition to his political duties – making him an excellent representative for ordinary working people.

Mr MacPherson went on to serve on Mid Suffolk District Council between 2003 and 2015 – during which time he was briefly a member of county, district and town councils simultaneously.

There he came into contact with Mid Suffolk councillor John Matthissen, who said: “I absolutely respect the fact that he dedicated himself to serving the public. That was his main moving spirit.”

Mr MacPherson also served on Stowmarket Town Council for over 20 years.

His colleague, and fellow Labour councillor Barry Salmon, said: “As a councillor he was a man with principles, but he never let a good argument that someone else put forward stop him from believing there was another way to do things. He was recognised as a hard-working Labour party councillor.”

Stowmarket Town Council said in a tribute posted on its website: “We are very sad to announce that after a long and brave fight against cancer, town councillor Duncan MacPherson died on Wednesday, 11th April, 2018 with members of his close family at his bedside.

“Duncan has been a stalwart of the town council for a number of years and his vast knowledge and wealth of experience has been of great help to us in many areas, including project planning, finance and governance.

“Members of the town council and staff wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the contribution that Duncan has made to his adopted home of Stowmarket.”

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