TRIBUTES have been paid to dedicated district councillor Peter Barnes.
Frederick Peter Barnes, who represented the Welford ward continuously on Stratford District Council for nearly 30 years, first as a Liberal Democrat and then as an Independent councillor, is understood to have suffered a heart attack on January 3. The 78-year-old was the authority’s longest serving councillor.
He also served as a county councillor for 12 years after being elected to represent Bidford as a Lib Dem in 2001.
District council chairman Christopher Kettle said: “In Peter we have lost an experienced and hard-working councillor. I regularly saw Peter, one of life’s characters, arriving by bicycle, regularly accompanied by Max his dog, who often joined Peter in his frequent appearances at planning committee or for evening councillor training.
“He was also committed, whilst on planning committees to ensuring new, especially rural, developments made adequate provisions for wildlife be that birds, bats or bees.
“Our thoughts are with his wife Stella and family at this time.”
Stratford Residents Action Group, commenting on Facebook, said: “Whatever you thought of his politics, he put his total energy into supporting local causes. Peter will be sadly missed by many.”
Peter went to school in Solihull before attending agriculture college in Moreton Morrell. He became a farmer and held several positions at various farms in the area.
He also raised thousands of pounds for charity. Peter was a long time supporter of the air ambulance and in 2018 made corn dollies in support of cancer patients after his wife Stella was diagnosed with lung cancer.
He crafted the traditional dolls for some 50 years, originally using his own crop from his farm in Moreton Morrell.