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Tributes to respected Craven ward councillor Michael Kelly
8:00am Thursday 13th February 2014 in News
Tributes have been paid to Bradford councillor Michael Kelly who died last week.
Seventy year-old Councillor Kelly, who lived in Addingham, had represented the Craven ward as a Conservative councillor for the past decade.
He sat on many of the council's committees including the young people and education committee, the health improvement committee and Keighley Area Committee.
He also sat on the employee appeals panel and the social services appeals panel and was portfolio holder for children's services and education from 2009 to 2010.
Despite battling a long illness, Coun Kelly continued being a councillor up until his death.
His close friend and fellow Craven ward councillor, Coun Andrew Mallinson (Cons), said: "Michael really enjoyed his role as executive member of children’s services. He was always very calm and dedicated and did his best to make sense of a very difficult job.
“He enjoyed working for the public and had real energy and drive for it. He wanted to try to make a difference. A lot of people had a huge amount of respect for him.”
Outside of his council duties, Coun Kelly loved rugby and having a pint in his local pub.
“He was one of those larger than life characters who loved a chat and a pint,” added Coun Mallinson. “He will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues.”
Fellow Craven ward councillor Adrian Naylor (Ind) said: “I had known Michael since 2006 and he was one of the remaining true gentlemen in politics who stood up for what he believed in and what the people of Addingham believed in.
“He will be a sad loss for all of those who knew him.”
Keighley and Ilkley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins added: “I was deeply saddened to be informed of the death of my friend and colleague Coun Michael Kelly.
“During my period as leader of Bradford Council, I had the privilege of appointing Mike to the position of portfolio holder for children’s services. It was a role he fulfilled with great distinction as he sought to do the very best he could to better the lives of young people across the district.
“Despite his illness, he remained determined to continue to serve local residents in Craven whom he was immensely proud to represent as their ward councillor.
“Mike’s passing is a huge loss to Bradford district, to the Keighley and Ilkley Conservative Association and, most importantly, to his many friends who held him in such high personal regard.
“My sincere sympathies are with his family at this very sad time.”
A requiem mass will be held at the Church of Our Lady and English Martyrs, Addingham, today at 1pm followed by interment in the graveyard at the village’s St Peter’s Church.
Mr Kelly is survived by his wife, five children and five grandchildren.