Tributes have been paid to Icknield ward councillor Mike Garrett, aged 76, who died in hospital on Friday, June 28, after suffering a heart attack.
Cllr Garrett was first elected on 6 May 1976 and worked tirelessly for local people for most of the last 43 years, with only a brief gap from 1995 - 2003.
He was a former Mayor of Luton from 1982-83 and leader of the Conservative group in the town for many years, he was most recently re-elected as member for Icknield ward in this year’s elections on 2 May.
After hearing the sad news, Leader of the Council Cllr Hazel Simmons, said: “I was sorry to hear that Mike had passed away and send my heartfelt sympathies at this time.”
Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr John Young added: “Mike was a larger than life figure and one of a kind. He started life as a greengrocer and later was milkman where everybody knew him in his Leagrave ward where he was councillor for 20 years or more.
“His greatest honour was to be Mayor in 1982-83 when he undertook more than 600 engagements. Mike loved talking to people and making speeches.
“In council, his voice was loud and passionate about the town’s affairs. He will be missed on all sides of the Chamber.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Luton, Cllr David Franks, said: “Mike Garrett served the people of Luton to the best of his ability. I know from that experience that his argument would always be for what he believed to be in the best interests of Luton and its residents.
“His presence in the Town Hall will be missed and thoughts obviously turn now to his family. I know they will support each other through this difficult time.”
Following Cllr Garrett’s death, his wife Sue said: “His whole life was the council. He loved to help people: the phone was always ringing and people would knock on the door for help and advice.
“He was even taking calls in hospital, and helped a lady in a bed across the ward to sort out her Blue Badge.”