A tribute to our dear friend and colleague, Ken Jones - 1948 to 2020
It is with tremendous sadness that we pay tribute to Ken who sadly passed away aged 72 on 8 February 2020.
Ken was a well-loved, wonderful and devoted family man, and leaves behind his wife Sue and their three children, Tim, Chris and Russ and four grandchildren.
We stand in condolence today with all of Ken’s family and those friends and colleagues across the council and borough who knew and worked with him.
With a sense of dear pride and admiration, we remember Ken as a passionate and dedicated member of the community who demonstrated utmost determination to serve and help improve the lives of the residents he represented.
Ken’s public work began in the 1970s where he became Parish Councillor in Shavington in Cheshire and was the Chairman of the Village Festival Committee. Indeed, the Village Festival pantomime and the Village newspaper, all introduced by Ken, continue to run successfully. Throughout his time there he also worked tirelessly as Chair to create a Village Hall for the use of local residents.
Only recently Ken was invited back to Shavington where the Parish Council was dedicating a plaque which records the hard work undertaken by Ken and his fellow councillors to vote for the purchase and refurbishment of the old primary school which was to become the new hall.
Having met wife Sue in October 1971 and married in December 1972, their first child Tim was born in September 1976. The family lived in London from 1988 to 2008 and during this time Ken extensively travelled the world building television stations and organising major sporting events. They then moved to South Ribble in 2008.
Having worked in the political arena together in Shavington, sharing political values and local passions, they both decided to run for local Councillor in South Ribble’s St Ambrose Ward in 2011.
Truly a winning team in business and in marriage, both Ken and Sue have served the residents in St Ambrose as local Councillors for 9 years.
Throughout his tenure as local Councillor along with his role in Council, Ken has sat as Chair of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee and the Taxi Trade Forum and has sat on the Planning, Scrutiny and Standards Committee along with the Leyland My Neighbourhood Area Forum.
One particularly notable appointment was that of Chair of the Climate Emergency Task Group. In June 2019 Ken moved a motion for Council to declare a Climate Emergency and set a pledge for the Council to achieve Carbon Neutral by 2030.
The impact of Climate Change on the borough, the country and indeed the world is increasingly destructive and Ken’s passion to raise awareness and to incite action to tackle the problem was second to none. His passion for improving the climate will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy for the Borough as Ken truly understood that we all have a part to play and only by working together we can make a difference.
Already the Council are putting measures in place to reduce the carbon footprint and this work was spearheaded and championed by Ken.
Ken was always a dedicated member of the South Ribble Labour Group and was well respected by his peers. Leader of the South Ribble Labour Group, Councillor Paul Foster said, “‘I have described Ken recently as a stalwart for the causes he devoted much of his life to, and a wonderfully engaging local Councillor and there would be no better way to describe him.
“Ken was immensely effective and successful in the support of his local community and, on a personal note, he was the most loyal of colleagues.
“I will sincerely miss his drive, enthusiasm and friendship - may he rest peacefully, and our love and thoughts are with Sue and her family.”
Passionate about local health issues, Ken sat as Governor of the Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust who brought valuable perspective holding directors to account for the performance of the board representing the interests of trust members and the public.
He was also passionate about improving the levels of crime in the borough and was instrumental in campaigning for and working with multi-agencies to see CCTV introduced at a local crime hotspot – the M6 underpass linking Leyland and Chorley.
Councillor David Howarth, Leader of the South Ribble Liberal Democrats Group said, “Ken Jones was an active and constructive member of the council who was passionate about Air Quality, particularly in the St Ambrose area, and climate change which he vigorously championed to the end.
“His passion will be sorely missed both within and without the council chamber and our thoughts go out to his wife Sue and his family at this sad time.”
Continuing his community impact, Ken was an avid member of the Preston Rotary Club and sat as their President for the year 2018/19. He also was passionate about local charities and over the years raised money for local good causes.
Councillor Margaret Smith, Leader of the South Ribble Conservative Group said, “The conservative group would like to extend our sincere condolences to Cllr. Sue Jones and her family on the recent death of her husband and fellow councillor Ken.
“We would also like to extend our sympathies to the Labour group who we know well miss him and his contribution to their group.”
In his personal life, Ken was an accomplished broadcaster and worked for the BBC as well as sports broadcasting for a number of other organisations. In fact, Ken’s son Tim is now following in his father’s footsteps and is too enjoying a career at the BBC. Time will tell if any of his children follow his footsteps into public work!
A lover of beer and real ales, Ken also loved travelling and had an avid passion for trains. Just this year, Ken and his family visited Cyprus, Portugal, Cape Verde and Germany enjoying the Harz Narrow-Gauge railway. He also visited the Lake District and Llangollen where he enjoyed its famous steam train.
Throughout his life Ken was a fighter and was positive throughout his inspiring battle with illness. Diagnosed with cancer in early 2019, Ken was determined to continue with his work as local Councillor, President of the Preston Rotary Club along with continuing to make cherished memories with his family and friends.
To be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to know him, Ken truly lived life to the full and his legacy, values and passion will live on through the residents and communities his tireless work has affected. The communities and residents he served are truly lucky to have had a person like Ken supporting them.
Across the borough and beyond, now and in the future, residents and their communities are better off from having Ken in their lives.