Tributes paid to Luton councillor Paul Castleman
Colleagues across the political spectrum have been paying tribute to Luton borough councillor Paul Castleman, who died yesterday (Tuesday) after a short time in Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
A lifelong Lutonian, councillor Castleman was the council's executive member for planning and transport until a reshuffle in May.
He joined the council representing Farley ward in March 2014 and was elected to serve on South ward at the 2015 local elections.
He was vice-chairman of the administration and regulation committee until May, and served on the audit and governance committee.
In his council online biography, he described highways, children’s services and housing as his passions as a councillor.
In a statement today, the council said: "Paul was a proud Lutonian, who revelled in the town’s cultural diversity.
"A large part of his motivation for entering the political sphere was to help those less fortunate than himself.
"His strong roots and ties to Luton meant he was passionate about its unique heritage and history. He was a member of the Luton Heritage Forum for a number of years.
"He dedicated significant amounts of his time to promoting projects related to making residents aware of Luton’s past, and was instrumental in forging the council’s heritage strategy and obtaining money from the National Heritage Lottery Fund to secure a heritage enabler for the town.
"During his term of office as portfolio holder for highways, he was active in promoting the council’s green transport agenda and having oversight of the town’s travel infrastructure.
"Although busy with his council work, he actively participated as trustee and chairman of Aylott Janes Almshouses. He had great pride in Luton."
Labour council leader and Lewsey councillor Hazel Simmons said: “It's with great sadness that I heard that Paul had passed away.
"He was a hardworking and dedicated local councillor, and my thoughts are with Jenny and his family at this very sad time.”
Leader of Luton Liberal Democrats and Barnfield councillor David Franks said: “We're all shocked and saddened to hear the news of Paul’s passing.
"As well as working with Paul on council business, I worked with him on a local charity of which we were both trustees. His enthusiasm and dedication in both had to be admired and will certainly be missed.”
Conservative group leader and Bramingham councillor John Young said: “I was shocked to hear about the demise of Paul.
"He was very conscientious about his sustainable development and highways portfolio on the council."
LBC chief executive Robin Porter said: “As a council, we're saddened to learn of this news and pass our deepest condolences to councillor Castleman’s family.
"He was everything a councillor should be ... hardworking and dedicated to the town and its residents. Paul will be greatly missed.”
Former council Labour colleague and Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins tweeted: "Very sad to hear the news this morning of the passing of South ward councillor Paul Castleman.
"My deepest condolences to Paul’s family, and my thoughts are with all his friends and comrades at this sad time."
Luton North Labour MP Sarah Owen said on social media: "My deepest condolences to family, friends and comrades of councillor Paul Castleman on the very sad news of Paul’s passing."
Councillor Castleman's fellow South ward councillors David Agbley and Javeria Hussain stated: "We’re saddened to inform you our friend and colleague Paul Castleman passed away on Tuesday at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
"Paul’s passing is unexpected and a shock. Our prayers are with Paul’s wife Jenny, family and friends. RIP Paul.”