Harwich: Tributes paid to Harwich councillor Steven Henderson who ‘had the town in his blood’

Cllr Steven Henderson

Cllr Steven Henderson - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a community stalwart who represented Harwich for over 20 years and “had the town in his blood”.

Former Harwich Town and Tendring District councillor Steven Henderson died at the weekend aged 58 and yesterday tributes came from colleagues who had worked with him.

Tendring District Council leader Peter Halliday was on the same cabinet as Mr Henderson from 2009 to 2011. Mr Halliday was in charge of finance while Mr Henderson had the portfolio for housing.

“Steven had an incredible knowledge about local authority housing and was an important part of our cabinet,” he said.

“Although we were from different parties and our political positions were a long way apart, I had a great deal of respect for him and took time to listen to what he had to say on a number of issues.

“But most of all he was a community stalwart who cared passionately about Harwich and he had the town in his blood. He represented Harwich as a town councillor for around 28 years and as a district councillor for 20 years.”

Mr Henderson represented Harwich West Central Ward on Tendring District Council from 1987 to 1999 and again from 2003 to 2011.

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He was a Labour councillor and also an Independent during his first spell and a member of the Community Representatives Party for the whole of his second stint.

His younger brother Ivan is also well-known in Harwich and became the first Labour MP to represent the town when he was elected in 1997. Ivan served as an MP until 2005 and is currently a member of Essex County Council for Harwich.

Tendring council’s chairman Neil Stock, who has served with both brothers, said Steven brought something special to local government in the district.

“Steven was an excellent cabinet member for housing and brought something very different to our discussions,” he added.

“It is a sad loss for Harwich and most of all for his family and friends. Our thoughts are with them all at this difficult time.”