Tributes after death of 'fearless' councillor who served for 40 years

David Bradford.Photo: Andy DarnellCopy: Kate ScotterFor: EN OriginalArchant © 2008 (01603) 7

David Bradford, pictured in 2008. - Credit: Andy Darnell

Tributes have been paid to a "fearless" former city councillor who represented Norwich people for 40 years.

David Bradford, MBE, who represented Crome ward on Norwich City Council from 1978 until 2019, died on Saturday, May 1. He was 76.

Made an MBE for services to the voluntary sector in 2008, Labour councillor Mr Bradford served as Norwich's Lord Mayor in 1988/89, with his good friend the Rev Jack Burton as Sheriff.

Two years ago, after standing down from City Hall, he was given the honorary title of alderman – the highest honour the council can bestow on former councillors.

Norwich-born Mr Bradford was a previous chairman of the city council's planning committee and of its economic development committee.

David Bradford.
Labour Candidate for Crome ward.
Photo: Andy Darnell
Copy: Kate Scotter

David Bradford. - Credit: Andy Darnell

He also served as portfolio holder for social inclusion and was former chairman of the Norwich area museum's committee - a role in which he opposed plans to create a trust to take control of Norfolk's museums out of direct public control.

The father-of-two, who lived in Crome ward with his wife Thelma, used to work for Norfolk County Council as a welfare rights officer.

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Alan Waters, Labour leader of Norwich City Council, said Mr Bradford had given years of "distinguished service".

He said: "David was passionate about helping people, many constituents benefitted from his work as a welfare rights specialist. He was a champion in promoting disability rights.

"David was well known and well liked, at the city council and across Norwich.

"He will be greatly missed and remembered fondly for his contribution to the city that he loved."

Mr Bradford, who had cerebral palsy and was a wheelchair user, was involved with numerous charities, including Norwich Crossroads and HAND (Help and Advocacy for Norfolk Disabled), The Hamlet Centre Trust, the Norwich Alzheimer’s Society and the Friends of Pricilla Bacon Lodge Hospice.

George Nobbs, former Labour leader of Norfolk County Council, described Mr Bradford as a great city councillor "of the old school".

He said: "He lived Labour values in his daily life, fearless when tackling injustice and always ready to help others.

"But above all he was a Norwich man at heart. The city and its citizens always came first.

"He was a very good friend to me and I shall miss him.

"He was a formidable ally in a fight, especially when saving his beloved museum service from privatisation."