Heartbreak following shock death of Sunderland councillor
Tributes have been paid to Sunderland city councillor Dr Geoffrey Walker after he died suddenly.
Dr Geoff Walker was one of three ward councillors for Shiney Row and the city council’s cabinet member for Healthy City.
Coun Walker, who lived in Penshaw, worked as a Systems Analyst in local government for almost 20 years and for over a decade he was as a lecturer in Further and Higher Education.
Tributes have been paid to the ‘passionate’ councillor who was playing a key role in driving the council’s fight against coronavirus.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “We are all very shocked to learn of Geoff’s death.
“As the City’s Council Cabinet member for Healthy City, with his lead on public health and adult social care, and a member of the city’s Outbreak Control Board, Geoff was playing a key role in driving our fight against Covid-19.
“He was very passionate about his politics and as a socialist he believed there were many wrongs and injustices that needed correcting.
“Geoff carried these beliefs into all his work for residents in Shiney Row and across Sunderland.
“I know his colleagues in the Labour Party, across the council and the city are devastated and deeply saddened. Personally, and on behalf of so many, our thoughts are with his family and all his friends.”
Coun Walker, who had been a councillor since 2015, was an Information Systems Analyst and had achieved a MSc and PhD in the area.
In a tribute to Coun Walker on Washington and Sunderland West Labour Party’s website, Sean Laws said: “We would discuss politics, philosophy, football and how to change the world for the better over a pint. Geoff was an academic, an educated man but I never felt out of my depth talking to him, he brought me with him and encouraged me to learn.”
Adding: “My admiration for Geoff was clearly shared by many others.
"Since the announcement of his passing there have been numerous recounted stories and messages of condolence.
"A theme that runs through those messages is that he was a true gentleman, a Socialist committed to helping others and an all-round top bloke.”