Tributes paid to long-standing Richmondshire councillor

Michael Heseltine.

A long-standing councillor – who campaigned for safety improvements to the A66 – has died aged 78.

Michael Heseltine died following a short illness on Friday, December 30.

He had served almost 40 years on North Yorkshire County Council.

Cllr Heseltine, who represented Richmondshire north division, was first elected to the county council in 1977.

Before his retirement he taught for many years at Scorton Grammar School.

He sat on most of the authority’s committees over the years, including the police and fire authorities, and was chairman of the county council in 2005 to 2006.

Most recently, he sat on the Richmondshire Area Committee, the scrutiny of health committee and transport, economy and environment scrutiny committee.

Cllr Heseltine decided to stand down as a county councillor in the elections in May this year, which would have marked 40 years’ service.

Authority leader Cllr Carl Les said Cllr Heseltine would be a great loss to the authority.

“Michael was a hugely respected member of the county council and the communities he represented and always served his communities to the best of his ability,” he said.

“His background as a teacher meant he spent his working life helping children and he carried that on into his public life, where he wanted to continue to help people.

“His death now is particularly poignant when the dualling of the A66, which he championed for years, has finally been announced.”

Cllr Hesletine also served on Richmondshire District Council for many years.

Leader Cllr Yvonne Peacock, added: “He was a great mentor when I first became a councillor.

“We became good friends and remained so when he left the authority. He was an extremely good councillor.”