Tributes paid to ‘honourable’ Suffolk councillor

Michael Burke, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Eye, died on December 22, 2018 Picture: PAUL NIXO

Michael Burke, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Eye, died on December 22, 2018 Picture: PAUL NIXON - Credit: Archant

Tributes are being paid to an “upstanding” and “dedicated” mid Suffolk councillor.

Michael Burke, who represented the Eye ward at Mid Suffolk District Council, died on Saturday, December 22.

His colleagues have spoken of his commitment to Eye, and his thoughtfulness as a member of both town and district councils.

County councillor Guy McGregor, whose ward contained Mr Burke’s district, said: “Michael brought new enthusiasm to the role of district councillor for Eye.

“This is a sad loss, not just for his family and friends, but for the wider community as well.

“I worked with Michael on a number of issues and will miss his input and energy.

He added: “My thoughts are of course with his loved ones during this time, so close to Christmas.”

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Mr Burke was elected to Mid Suffolk District Council in May 2017.

His responsibilities within the authority included being vice chairman of the joint audit and standards committee, a member of the development control committee and also serving on the planning referrals committee.

Although his time in the district council was brief, his colleagues remember him fondly.

David Burn, who represents the neighbouring Palgrave ward, said: “Working on so many of the same issues together in the area, Michael and I were more than colleagues – we developed a friendship.

“I will miss me and my dog meeting Michael and his dog when we would walk in The Pennings in Eye.

“We would cross paths, walk, talk and set the world to rights.

He added: “It is incredibly sad.”

Elizabeth Gibson-Harries is the councillor for nearby Hoxne ward and said Mr Burke was “an exceptional councillor concerned with a great number of issues in his ward”.

He will be missed by the council and his Conservative colleagues, she added.

Mr Burke’s family are yet to announce a date for a funeral.

Nick Gowrley, Mid Suffolk council leader, said: “On behalf of the whole council, we were shocked and greatly saddened to hear of Cllr Burke’s passing.

“As an upstanding member of the community, I’ve always known Michael to be a dedicated and honourable man.

“Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very difficult time.”