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Councillor John Roberts

Craven District Council is paying tribute to Councillor John Roberts, who has sadly died at the age of 70 and will be much missed. The funeral arrangements have been announced.

The funeral of Councillor John Roberts will take place on Monday, March 23, at 10.30am at St Mary's Church in Kettlewell.

Cllr Roberts had represented the Upper Wharfedale Ward since 2008 and was due to retire in 2016.

Council Leader, Councillor Richard Foster, said: "I am shocked and deeply saddened by the death of John. He was not just a fellow Councillor but also a close friend who I have known for most of my life. I have had tributes pouring in from Councillors and members of staff at the Council saying how they will miss this true gent and thoroughly nice man.

Here at Craven he has chaired the select committee with firmness but fairness and was never frightened to challenge decisions made here or elsewhere that he felt would impact badly on the residents of Craven. The closure of the police cells in Skipton and their move to Harrogate was currently on the agenda and John was determined to make sure that this would not impact on local policing.

He also sat on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planning committee, where he would vote against officers' advice if he thought it was the right thing to do, especially if he thought it would affect local jobs.

He was a loyal supporter of Wharfedale Rugby Club and I think every member will miss him starting his speeches with the score from the weekend, with 'Good news' or 'Bad news' depending on how they had done. John leaves three children, Matthew Rebecca and Edward and will be sorely missed by the people of Kettlewell, Upper Wharfedale and Littondale."

Cllr Roberts, a widower, was very proud of his Welsh heritage and was a passionate supporter of the Welsh rugby team. He spent 20 years in the Royal Navy, and later bought the post office in Kettlewell and subsequently the Spar shop in Grassington.

Cllr Roberts was elected to represent the Upper Wharfedale Ward of Craven District Council in 2008, serving on the Scrutiny Committee from that time before taking on the role of Chairman of that Committee from March 2012 to the present day.

Cllr Roberts also served on the Authority's Planning Committee and Standards Committee; he was the serving Vice-Chairman of that Committee having been appointed to that role in 2012. He was also the Council champion for the Armed Forces and a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.