Tributes for former mayor and council stalwart Jim Lomax

Former mayor Jim Lomax

Former mayor Jim Lomax - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to former mayor of Huntingdon, Jim Lomax, who has been described as a “true giant” of the local Labour Party.

Mr Lomax, who was 84, died after a fall at his home in Godmanchester.

He had been a member of the party for more than 60 years and served on both Huntingdonshire District Council and Huntingdon Town Council in a lifetime of activism.

Mr Lomax, who was usually seen with his wife Thelma at his side, was mayor of Huntingdon and Godmanchester in the 1970s and mayor of Huntingdon in the 1990s.

Constituency chairman Nik Johnson described Mr Lomax as a “true giant” and a “much loved friend to all”.

Dr Johnson said: “Jim was a stalwart of our monthly meetings. As a member of over 60 years he was often the first to offer some true pearls of wisdom from the past but at the same time could bring huge energy and new ideas to our meetings and local campaigning.

“Alongside his wife, Thelma, Jim has worked tirelessly over decades for the benefit of our constituency Labour Party and the people of Huntingdonshire.

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“He was hugely respected across the political spectrum and he will be sorely missed.”

Huntingdon Town Council is sending its condolences to Mrs Lomax.

Derek Holley, twice leader of the Conservative-controlled district council, said: “Gentleman Jim was the only opposition leader that I had any respect for.

“He was, like me, an honest conviction politician, and that is why we had a decent working relationship. I could trust him and make deals with him that I knew he would honour. This has never been replaced.”

Mr Holley said: “We were both in local politics to serve our community regardless of party. Now politics has drifted into a world of money and lack of complete political honesty. I am sure Jim would have been as horrified as myself at this turn off events. Gentleman Jim will be missed by the local community, his family, friends and colleagues alike.”

Colleagues also paid tribute to Mr Lomax, who joined the party in 1962 and was elected to the former Huntingdon and Godmanchester Borough Council in 1966.

Ann Beevor said he was a “Labour champion”, Bob Jewell described him as a “colossus”, Samuel Sweek said he was a “true gentleman” and Patrick Kadewere said he was “his hero”.

Mr Lomax had been suffering from ill health and took a back seat at the May elections for the first time in decades. The party had been planning to make a formal tribute to him next month.