Cllr John Clark

Councillors pay tribute to Cllr John Clark, who died last week

Councillor John Clark, who had served on Ryedale District Council since 2003, has died.

Councillor Clark was the Councillor for Cropton Ward, the Leader of the Liberal Group in the Council, and Chair of Ryedale District Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.  He also represented Ryedale District Council on a number of regional and national committees.

A strong voice in the Council Chamber, Councillor Clark was known as a tireless advocate for local democracy, and for his great commitment to his role as Councillor.

Speaking in tribute to Councillor Clark on behalf of the Council, Councillor Janet Frank, Chair of Ryedale District Council, said:

“I have known John for many years.  He was a hard-working and greatly respected Councillor who played a huge role in the activities of Ryedale District Council.  Most recently he was Chair of the Police and Resources Committee, which provided an opportunity for his knowledge and experience to shine through.

“In the Council Chamber he always spoke up for what he believed in, and he showed great determination to get things done - both for his own Ward of Cropton, and for the wider district of Ryedale.  He will be greatly missed by his colleagues on the Council and in the community more generally. Our sympathy and thoughts are with John’s partner and his family and friends at this very sad time.”

In their own tribute to Councillor Clark, the Council’s Liberal Group said:

“Highly intelligent and articulate, John was a divisive character who championed the underdog.  An organic farmer and stalwart of local politics for over 40 years, everything John did was done with the utmost honesty and integrity, and for his community – something of a rarity these days. 

“With dogged determination, he fought tirelessly to raise awareness on issues such as climate change and social housing.  In 2018 he instigated an investigation into bullying in the council and showed great tenacity in getting the issue addressed and bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion.

“There was no compromise with John; he would think deeply about everything and could argue in an empty room.  The annoying thing was that 95 percent of the time, he was right.

“We have lost a clever man, an astute politician and a fine friend.”

Councillor Dinah Keal, who was Vice Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at Ryedale District Council will now act as the Chair of that Committee until a permanent Chair is appointed at the September meeting of Council.