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London's oldest councillors including last Tory on Richmond council die in office

London's oldest councillors including last Tory on Richmond council die in office

Tributes have been paid to London's two oldest working councillors who died in November.

Geoffrey Samuel, 92, and Martin Elengorn, 79, both served on Richmond council for decades and were still attending meetings up until their deaths.

A full council meeting on Tuesday night saw an hour of tributes to the pair who made "huge contributions" to public service.

Mr Samuel was first elected in November 1957 and was thought to be the oldest serving councillor in the UK.

He served as deputy leader and cabinet member for finance for much of the last Conservative administration.

Geoffrey Samuel (Richmond Council)
Geoffrey Samuel (Richmond Council)

At the time of his death on November 10 the Hampton North ward councillor was the last Tory member left at the town hall, which is now run by the Liberal Democrats.

Twickenham Conservative Association said "age was no barrier" for the former Heathland School headmaster and he "undertook his contribution to public life with an energy and zeal that would shame those half his age".

"To our certain knowledge, he was the oldest working councillor in the UK, and we are sure we will never see another like him," the Association said in a statement.

Mr Elengorn was first elected in 1982 and was the council's longest serving member.

Richmond council leader Gareth Roberts said his "experience, passion, knowledge and likeability were the defining characteristics of his four decades of public service".

Martin Elengorn (Richmond Council)
Martin Elengorn (Richmond Council)

He joked that "champagne corks would be popping" in the offices of developers Barratt and Wimpy Homes as Mr Elengorn was a fierce campaigner against excessive development in the borough. Mr Roberts said he "hated sentimentality" and "would have hated this".

He told Monday night's meeting: "There is nothing in the playbook to prepare a council for losing two such respected and admired, and I dare say even loved, colleagues as Cllrs Samuel and Elengorn.

"Both made huge contributions over the course of decades of public service."