Lambeth pays tribute to former councillor
Lambeth Council is mourning the loss of long-serving and respected former councillor John Whelan, who has sadly passed away.
John was Conservative Group Leader at Lambeth Council from 1998 to 2014, and deputy leader of the Council under the Liberal Democrat-Conservative joint administration between 2002 and 2006. He was also joint chair of the Education Committee between 1994 and 1998.
John served as a councillor for Thurlow Park ward for 24 years from May 1990 and was re-elected five times until he stood down at the local elections in 2014.
He also served as deputy chairman of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, as governor of Oakfield and Elmcourt schools, and as a member of the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital trust and the Kings College Hospital trust.
John worked as a journalist over more than four decades, for news outlets from Burnley and Cardiff to Abu Dhabi.
He was married to Clare Whelan OBE, who also served as a Conservative councillor and is a former Mayor of Lambeth.
Cllr Tim Briggs, who succeeded John as leader of the Conservative Group on Lambeth Council, said: “John Whelan was a committed public servant to the people of Lambeth. He was a councillor for 24 years and at one point Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council.
“He and his wife, Clare, were a team in Thurlow Park ward and helped countless people there in their difficulties with the Council. I did not have the good fortune to know him well, but I salute his achievements, his tireless work for the people of Lambeth, and his intense commitment to their wellbeing.”
A number of former colleagues – within the Conservative Party and from other parties – and members of the community, have paid tribute to Mr Whelan in recent days.
Former Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed, who is now Labour MP for Croydon North, said: “We fought each other hard but I respected him.”