Town pioneer tributes

TRIBUTES have been paid to a pioneering town mayor who successfully championed the campaign for CCTV and served his community for 30 years.Eric Jones, 82, who lived in Bury Street, Stowmarket with his wife Bette, died on Saturday at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds after several months of ill health.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a pioneering town mayor who successfully championed the campaign for CCTV and served his community for 30 years.

Eric Jones, 82, who lived in Bury Street, Stowmarket with his wife Bette, died on Saturday at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds after several months of ill health.

His public service was exceptional and spanned more than three decades serving at district and town council level.

The town flag was flying at half mast in the centre yesterday and Marilyn Finbow, a former town mayor in Stowmarket, said: "Whatever your politics Eric was respected across the board. He was a gentleman who worked endlessly for the good of Stowmarket and the people he represented.

"CCTV was his baby and he pushed and pushed, working endlessly towards it. He helped me and helped young people come in to politics. He said I was his adopted daughter and he was like a dad to me," she added.

Mr Jones served on the former Stowmarket Urban District Council from 1970 to 1974 and then on Mid Suffolk District Council from 1974 to 2003. He served as chairman, and leader of the Labour Group for almost 20 years.

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Mr Jones was also a Stowmarket town councillor from 1974 to 2003 and served as town mayor twice. He was a member of the board of directors of Stowmarket Co-operative Society until it was merged with the Ipswich Society during the 1980s.

He was the inaugural chairman of the Stowmarket Twinning Association from 1979 when the town was twinned with a French community.

Mr Jones had also served as chairman of both the Stowmarket Charities and the Stowmarket Chest, Heart and Stroke Association. He was vice president of the Stowmarket Cancer Support Group.

Before moving to Stowmarket Mr Jones had been chairman of the Eye Constituency Labour Party for a number of years and had worked at Berkley Power Station in Gloucestershire. From 1970 until his retirement in 1986 he worked in the nuclear fuel industry at Sizewell A power station, where he became a lecturer specialising in areas including environmental issues.

The funeral arrangements are still being made and Mrs Jones felt unable to talk about her loss yesterday. Mr Jones leaves also leaves, three daughters, great grandchildren and grandchildren.

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