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Tributes paid following death of long-serving councillor

Tributes have been paid to a former Middlesbrough councillor who has died aged 82.

Ron Lowes holds a Middlesbrough Council record for an independent councillor having been elected an incredible 10 times in succession.

The civic flag above Middlesbrough Town Hall is now flying at half-mast in honour of Cllr Lowes who served the town and its people for 39 years from 1976 to 2015.

He won his first election as an independent candidate in North Ormesby in May, 1976 despite being told he had ‘no chance' and became the town's first independent Councillor since Monsignor O'Sullivan in the 1940s.

Cllr Lowes won five elections in North Ormesby before marrying and moving to Acklam, where he was persuaded to stand as an independent in May, 1991 where once again he won against the odds.

Cllr Lowes joined elected Mayor Ray Mallon's Executive in 2002 as Member for Environment, Housing & Transport before serving as Vice Chair of the Council for four years.

During his time in North Ormesby he instigated the North Ormesby community carnival, which went on to become the largest of its kind in England, while in Acklam he led the campaign to replace the former Co-op Employees Club with the new Jack Hatfield Club.

He was a member of St Mary's Parochial Church Council and President of St Mary's Social Club, was chairman of the Newham Bridge School Governing Body for 25 years, and was Vice President of Middlesbrough Scouts Association and President of the Cleveland Show.

When Cllr Lowes stood down from the Council in 2015 he was given a special recognition award for his service by then Mayor Mr Mallon.

He was married to Karen, father of Kerry and Jonathan and a grandfather.

Middlesbrough's Elected Mayor Andy Preston said: "Ron Lowes quietly got on with doing great stuff for the people of Middlesbrough - he helped thousands of people.

"His commitment and energy set standards for others to aspire to and I know that if we had 1,000 citizens like Ron Lowes then we'd be setting standards for every town and city to follow. We will miss Ron but we are so grateful that we had him. Thank you Ron Lowes."

His funeral is being held at Acklam Crematorium at 9.30am on Tuesday 10th September in St Bede's Chapel.

Pictured: Cllr Ron Lowes on the steps of Middlesbrough Town Hall with members of the Middlesbrough-Oberhausen Town Twinning association while Vice Chair of Middlesbrough Council.