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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria councillor dies following 30ft fall in Windermere

THE deputy leader of Cumbria County Council who fell from 30ft at his Windermere home has died.

Jo Stephenson
Councillor Jo Stephenson died in hospital last night

Tributes have been made to Councillor Jo Stephenson who passed away in hospital last night.

 

The senior Liberal Democrat died in hospital on Friday after a suspected stroke.

The news came as a huge shock to Cllr Stephenson’s colleagues and constituents as it was believed he was responding well to treatment.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, was one of the first to pay tribute, describing the Windermere councillor as a “committed” character.

He said: “Jo was a wonderful councillor, colleague and friend. He got involved in local politics, giving up a career in law because he wanted to make a difference to the community he loved. He was committed, passionate and determined.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Hilary and his children at this awfully tragic time. We will miss him terribly.”

Fellow cabinet member Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson said: “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.”

Cllr Stephenson was well-known in the town for running a popular B&B with his wife.

He also represented Windermere Town on South Lakeland District Council and once served as council chairman.

Councillor Peter Thornton, the leader of SLDC, said: "Jo was a much loved ward councillor, and colleague.

“We will all miss him and the members and staff of SLDC send our prayers and heartfelt sympathies to Hilary, his wife, and family”.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg also paid tribute, describing his death as a big loss to the party.

He said: “I am very sad to hear of the death of Jo Stephenson, a much-loved and dedicated councillor and a great servant of his community. He is a real loss to the Lib Dem family and will be greatly missed.”

Paramedics called to Cllr Stephenson’s home on July 4 found him to be conscious after the fall. He was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital.

 

A tributes page is being set up at www.cumbria.gov.uk and anyone wishing to make a tribute can contact webteam@cumbria.gov.uk.

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