Tributes following sudden death of stalwart council veteran who served as Mayor of Swindon

By Barrie Hudson - 4 June 2024

  • Brian Ford

    Brian Ford

Swindon Borough Council members from across the political divide have paid tribute to one of the borough’s most dedicated councillors.

Brian Ford, who died suddenly last week, had served the people of Wroughton for 38 years, spanning the period when Swindon Borough Council replaced Thamesdown Borough Council in 1996.

He stood down from representing the Wroughton and Wichelstowe ward last month, having previously served as Cabinet Member for Adults and Health.

It was in this role that Cllr Ford oversaw Swindon’s response to the covid pandemic, while as Cabinet Member he also supported hugely successful initiatives such as Beat the Street and the Big Swindon Knit.

A member of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board for many years, he also represented the borough as Mayor, sat on the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority and served as a Governor of the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He was well-known as a champion for volunteering and would often attend events to thank those who gave up their spare time to help others.

Cllr Jim Robbins, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “Brian was a hard-working councillor who was passionate about Wroughton and serving his local community as best he could.

“I enjoyed our exchanges in council meetings and, while we had our political differences, he commanded great respect from everyone in the Chamber. He would also always be happy to work collaboratively with the Labour Group. He was a lovely man.

“My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Cllr Gary Sumner, Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Brian was rather like the ‘father of the group’. Good advice always available, based on his years of experience.

“Behind the scenes he was a great friend who loved his golf and a glass of good red wine. He was fantastic company, loved his village of Wroughton and will be greatly missed by all of us in the Conservative Group.”

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