'End of an era': Tributes paid to council stalwart Jim Powell

Former Ipswich councillor Jim Powell has died 

Former Ipswich councillor Jim Powell has died - Credit: Ipswich labour Party

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Ipswich councillor who spent almost four decades representing the town.  

Former Bridge Ward councillor Jim Powell died on Friday at the age of 84 following a long illness.  

He had been on Ipswich Borough Council for 36 years, having won each election he stood in from 1982 until he retired.  

Mr Powell had grown up in the area and been an electrician in his younger days working for Cocksedge Engineering and at Ajax in Ipswich before making the move to become a councillor.  

He was very well known in his ward, where he would often take the number 15 bus to get into town. 

Jim Powell was a well-known figure in the Bridge Ward

Jim Powell was a well-known figure in the Bridge Ward - Credit: Ipswich Labour Party

Whilst on the bus he would often chat with local people about their concerns, treating the bus ride as a surgery on wheels for those living in his ward. 

“People would bend his ear there and he would follow them up,” said fellow councillor John Cook. 

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"He was a real character. Jim was all about helping people with issues." 

"Jim was a wonderful colleague," said Bryony Rudkin, deputy council leader at Ipswich Borough Council.  

"He always had a smile and a pithy comment about the state of politics locally and nationally. 

"He was a great one for fixing things and mending things. 

"Everybody knew him and he was always there for other people." 

“He had a tremendous contribution to make to his local community,” said fellow Bridge Ward councillor Phil Smart.  

“It’s the end of an era. It’s a sad passing but a life well-lived.” 

Jim Powell (seated) is thanked for his many years at Ipswich Borough Council

Jim Powell (seated) is thanked for his many years at Ipswich Borough Council - Credit: Ipswich Labour Party

Outside of work, Mr Powell had been an amateur footballer during his youth in Ipswich and did his national service in the army in Germany.  

"He could still speak German tolerably well," said Mr Cook.   

One trait for which Mr Powell will always be remembered was his affinity with boiled sweets, which he always carried a bag of wherever he went.  

“He always had packet of sweets with him, he handed them out very liberally,” said Mr Cook. 

He would often pass them to bus drivers as he would head around town or to the staff at local fish and chip shops where he would grab a bite to eat.  

Jim Powell when we was re-elected as councillor in 2010

Jim Powell when we was re-elected as a councillor in 2010 - Credit: Andy Abbott

In recent years Mr Powell had been living at Handford House care home in Ipswich. 

Mrs Rudkin said: "We would like to thank the staff there. They were absolutely wonderful."