Tributes have started pouring in for Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy who died today.
Coun Begy (Con) died at Leicester Royal Infirmary this morning (Monday, February 1), following a short battle with cancer. He was 72-years-old.
Coun Begy was the representative for the Greetham ward. He had been leader of the council since 2003.
His family would like to thank well-wishers for their messages of support throughout recent weeks and said: “Roger was not only an ambassador for Rutland but he was also a loving, funny, supportive father, husband and grandfather.
“Food and wine were his passion and his family remember him best for the often five-hour long lunches where port, wine and food were enjoyed whilst we debated and laughed about everyday things. We are proud of how he fought the corner of those who needed help and support with kindness and when appropriate humour. The love, condolences and messages we have received have been overwhelming.”
Councillor Kenneth Bool, chairman of Rutland County Council, said: “Councillor Begy was incredibly well-liked and respected by all elected members and will be greatly missed. He has led the council with diligence and care for more than a decade, during which time he has been unwavering in his commitment to the county of Rutland and its residents – particularly those most in need of help and support. The fact that his loss will be felt not just in Rutland but right across the wider region is a testament to his work in office. The thoughts of everyone at Rutland County Council are with his family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
Coun Terry King, acting leader, said: “Roger is held in the highest regard by his friends, colleagues and local residents, having served his constituents faithfully for many, many years. His determination to get the best for the people of Rutland is borne out in much of the wider work that he undertook as a member of the East Midlands Councils Executive, Chairman of the Regional Improvement Board and Chairman of the Rural Services Network – all of which focused on important rural issues affecting our area.
“Roger was an outstanding public servant and will be missed by everyone. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Helen Briggs, chief executive of Rutland County Council, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Councillor Begy. He was a dedicated ward member and committed leader who worked tirelessly to drive the council forward and provide for residents.
“His passion, enthusiasm and input right across the council have all helped to make Rutland the prosperous, independent county that is today. His loss will be keenly felt by those who worked closest with him and the condolences of everyone at Rutland County Council go out to his family.”
Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton, said: “Roger was an exceptional leader of the council who was devoted to Rutland. He was a larger than life character with a keen eye for detail and a great sense of humour. His 13 years as leader and his many years as a ward councillor helped secure Rutland’s future as an independent county. We are lucky to have had his service and he will be enormously missed.”
The flag at Rutland County Council’s offices in Oakham is being flown at half-mast in honour of Coun Begy.
To pay tribute, e-mail the newsdesk.