Tributes paid after death of long-serving former Sunderland councillor George Howe

Political allies and opponents have paid tribute after the death of a long-serving former Sunderland councillor.

George Howe, who has passed away after a long illness, represented Fulwell ward continuously from 1996 until his retirement in May 2022.

During a distinguished political carer, he also stood as the Conservatives’ candidate in the old Sunderland South constituency in the 1987 and 1992 general elections.

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A graduate of the University of Toronto and Sunderland Polytechnic, he worked in several countries of the Middle East and Canada as a Quality Control Engineer followed by several years as a teacher of English in Saudi Arabia.

His former Fulwell ward colleague, retired Councillor Bob Francis, said George had been a mainstay of the community: “Most mornings George would be at his desk in the old Civic Centre and then would head straight out visiting the many residents or community groups who had made contact with him,” he said.

"George played a major role in organising the pensioner’s Annual Christmas Party at the Mill View Club and was also a regular visitor to Cuthbertson Court.

"Along with past Fulwell Councillor John Wiper, I have kept in touch with George since all our retirements and he will be greatly missed.”

Long-time Conservative member Peter Wood, said George Howe had been ‘a doughty fighter on behalf of the many causes in which he believed, at the top of which list came the Fulwell's residents’, while colleague Michael Dixon commented “We now have just short of twenty Conservative Councillors on the City Council, but when we were down to around just a handful George was there to provide a strong voice of determined opposition when it was most needed.”

Councillor George Howe.
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Current Fulwell Councillor James Doyle said George was ‘not just a ward colleague in Fulwell for three years, he was a good friend’ .

"We are all very grateful for his years of tireless service.”

City council leader Coun Graeme Miller said his thoughts were with Mr Howe’s widow Pat and their sons Bradley and Anthony: “He always stood his ground and fought for the residents of his ward,” he said.

Councillor George Howe at the scene of the parking problems in Seaburn. Picture by Frank Reid
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"I remember he was one of just a handful of Conservative councillors at one stage, but that never fazed him.

"He will be sadly missed.”