We are very sorry to announce that John David died early on Monday morning. John leaves his wife Judith – they have worked together in so many areas of activity for so many years – and his son Huw and daughter Mary.
John’s successor as the Pendle Councillor for Fence, Brian Newman, said that John was a legend in the village and would remain so for many a year to come. He said: “Our Village Hall will stand as a lasting memory of John’s work for the village residents.”
Councillor Tony Greaves, John’s successor as leader of the Liberal group on Pendle Council, said John was irreplaceable. He said: “People in so many walks of life in Pendle owe John an enormous debt of thanks. People who say all politicians are just in it for themselves should just remember this wonderful man who worked for everyone here.”
Nelson Councillor Nadeem Ahmed said: “John was an absolutely brilliant role model from whom I and many others learnt so much. He was a real gentleman who will be missed.”
John David was an immense presence in the Pendle community who served on Pendle Council for 28 years, holding most of the senior positions. He was elected in May 1986 for the Fence and Higham ward, and represented Old Laund Booth (Fence) when the boundaries changed. He retired in May 2014 due to ill health. He was Leader of the Council from 2008 to 2010 and Deputy Leader from 2012 to 2014, and served as a highly distinguished Mayor of Pendle in 1992/1993.
John sat on most of the main committees of Pendle Council, chairing the Leisure Services Committee and, in his time as Leader, the Council Executive. He was Leader of the Liberal Democrat group from 2008 to his retirement. He was a founder member of the Barrowford and Western Parishes area committee when the Liberals brought devolution to the workings of the Council. More recently he sat on the PEARL board and that of Pendle Leisure Trust, and was an enthusiastic stalwart of the Pendle Twinning Committee. Last year Pendle Council made John a Freeman of the Borough in recognition of his service to people in Pendle.
John was an important figure in local education and chaired both the Governors of Nelson and Colne College for many years, and the governing body at Walton High School in Nelson, where he steered its transformation into Pendle Vale College with the new building under “Building Schools for the Future”.
John was an enthusiastic member of the Parish Council in Old Laund Booth (Fence) and served as Chair for a time. His greatest achievements in the village were perhaps in the field of planning, including getting the parish as a whole included in the Green Belt, and in saving the village library for many years and creating the Village Hall in part of the library building – and working on its committee and as Chairman for many years.
John’s work extended well beyond the narrow confines of the Council, and included the Heritage Trust for the North West, the local citizens Advice Bureau, and Mid-Pennine Arts – music was a lifelong passion – he took up the cello as an adult and sang in local choirs. John and Judith’s contributions to the local classical music scene have been huge. John chaired Burnley Orchestra and Choir for 30 years and their own home-based string quartet, the Hoarstones Ensemble, gave much joy to many people, including a locally famous “family and friends” rendering of The Messiah at Christmas.
But John never forgot his Welsh roots, not least when Wales were playing rugby!