Tributes paid to Cllr Jo Stephenson

Deputy leader of Cumbria County Council, Jo Stephenson, died in hospital at the weekend following a fall at his Windermere home.

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Tributes paid to councillor by SLDC colleagues

Tributes have been paid to Cllr Jo Stephenson, by his colleagues from South Lakeland District Council, who had a minutes silence before their council meeting.

Close friend and colleague Cllr Vincent Graham said Mr Stephenson, who died in hospital at the weekend, was a keen cricket and rugby players and an enthusiastic amateur actor. He had been playing a Shakespearean with with Grasmere players.

Mr Graham said he would be deeply missed by his loving family.

“Jo was a gentleman. Always caring and considerate. There will always be an empty chair and desk in this chamber.”

– Cllr Graham Vincent

“Jo was a rock. Always helpful and thoughtful. Strongminded but not headstrong. We have lost one of the good guys.”

– Cllr Mark Wilson, Labour Group Leader

“I have been a constant admirer of Jo for his complete integrity and devotion to his political beliefs. Colleagues described Cllr Stephenson as a kind and sensitive man and a genuine guy."

– Cllr David Williams, Conservative Group Leader

Tributes to councillor Jo Stephenson

Jo Stepheson Credit: Cumbria County Council

Cllr Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria - “We are all enormously shocked by this very sad news. I worked very closely with Jo since the 2013 elections and found him to be a very decent and honourable man. He will be thoroughly missed by his many friends and colleagues in Cumbria.”

Cllr Clare Feeney-Johnson, Liberal Democrat Cabinet member for Environment - “Jo was a personal friend as well as a political colleague and this is one of the saddest days I have known. Jo was an inspiration for many of us and gave up so much of his time and resources in order to try and make Windermere and Cumbria a better place. All of our thoughts are with Hillary and his family at this very distressing time.”

Diane Wood, Chief Executive, Cumbria County Council - "Jo will be sorely missed by all of his colleagues and this is a complete bolt from the blue as he appeared to be recovering so well. Very, very sad day for Cumbria. My thoughts are with his family and close friends."

Cllr Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council - "Jo was a much loved Ward Councillor and he was Chairman of our District Council just last year. He was a good Chair, efficient, firm, possessing good humour and supportive to me as Leader. We will all miss him and our Council group send our prayers and heartfelt sympathy to Hilary and the family."

Cllr James Airey, Leader of the County Council's Conservative Group - "I am shocked and stunned to hear this very sad news. Jo was a gentle, quiet and thoroughly decent family man. He cared deeply and worked very hard for his local community in Windermere and for residents right across Cumbria in his role as Deputy Leader. My thoughts are with Hillary and his family."

Cllr David E Southward MBE, County Councillor for Egremont - "I was devastated to hear of Jo’s tragic death. He was a true gentleman of great integrity and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. I convey my heartfelt condolences to his widow, Hillary and to other family members."


Cllr Jo Stephenson dies weeks after suffering a fall at home

Jo Stephenson Credit: Cumbria County Council

The deputy leader of Cumbria County Council has died in hospital weeks after falling at his home in Windermere.

Jo, who had been county councillor for Windermere since 2009 and Deputy Leader of the county council since 2013, was in the Royal Preston Hospital after suffering a fall at home three weeks ago.

He had been making a good recovery and his diagnosis was looking optimistic earlier in the week, but it is thought he died from a massive stroke last night.

Jo leaves behind his wife Hillary and two children.

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