A local champion who campaigned tirelessly for residents in his North Swindon ward is to have a pedestrian walkway named after him.
Former Swindon Mayor Rex Barnett fought for almost two years to have a path resurfaced in Haydon Wick so that elderly residents in James Wilks House and local residents with mobility problems could access local amenities more easily.
Cllr Barnett was initially told there was no funding available to complete the work but, after speaking to the Council’s North Locality team and fellow North Swindon councillors, he finally secured the necessary money to resurface the route which runs from Haydon Court to the centre of Haydon Wick.
It was to prove his last major victory on behalf of local residents as Cllr Barnett lost his brave battle with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma earlier this year.
As a tribute to Cllr Barnett, the Council is naming the path Rex Barnett Walk in his memory.
Pictured right, Rex and Sandra Barnett in April 2012 receiving the Pride of Swindon award from Rex’s successor Cllr Ray Ballman
Cllr Barnett’s wife Sandra and his two daughters will be present at the unveiling of the walkway signs on Monday 28 October at 2pm. They will be joined by fellow ward councillors including Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, who was a close friend of Cllr Barnett.
Sandra said: “We all miss Rex so much but having this tribute to him and knowing how respected and loved he was gives us great comfort.”
Cllr Barnett was elected to the Haydon Wick ward in 2007 and served on numerous committees. A popular councillor, he will also be remembered for his time as mayor, where he and Sandra raised a record £68,000 for local charities.
Cllr David Renard, Swindon Borough Council Leader, said: “I am so pleased that we have the opportunity to recognise Rex’s achievements on behalf of local residents.
“If he were with us, I think he would be quite chuffed and I can hear him saying to me ‘thanks chief’. This tribute will help ensure that we never forget one of life’s great characters.”