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Gloucestershire Business News

Two leading councillors mourned

Tributes have been paid to two well-known Gloucestershire councillors.

Serving county councillor, Cllr Phil Awford (Conservative, Tewkesbury: Highnam), passed away on Saturday (March 11).

Cllr Awford had been a county councillor for more than 20 years.

Writing on Facebook, Cllr Lynden Stowe, Gloucestershire county councillor (Conservative, Campden Vale), said: "Very sad to learn of the passing of a councillor colleague on Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Phil Awford.

"Phil was member for the Highnam division for over 20 years, which includes 20 parishes and numerous other settlements in the Severn Vale area. He was a much-respected chairman of council for the year 2014/15.

"Most importantly, though, he was an incredible representative and advocate for the people and communities he represented and particularly tenacious in his work seeking help for those places that suffered such damage in the Gloucestershire floods of 2007.

"Gloucestershire has lost a good man and a good friend.

"Sincere condolences to his family and friends."

Former county councillor, Ray Theodoulou, died following a short illness.

He stepped down from the council in May 2019, as the last remaining member of the original Conservative cabinet, having headed up the council's finances for 14 years.

Writing on Facebook, Cllr Lynden Stowe, said: "Within a day or so of each other, Gloucestershire has lost another great friend.

"He was the longest-serving cabinet member (for finance and resources) and deputy leader of the council, as well as serving on numerous other committees.

"He was chairman of the council between 2019 and 2021, during the challenging times of Covid, and elected an honorary alderman in 2021, after 20 years' service to the residents of East Cotswolds division.

"Ray was probably my closest political ally. More often than not, we agreed on the big challenges being faced and how to tackle them.

"Incredibly knowledgeable about all matters of finance, he was an incredibly hard act to follow. I ended up following him into three of his previous roles and his support, guidance and advice were invaluable and generous.

"A true gentleman, who always gave his very best to his electorate and the wider population of Gloucestershire.

"It was an absolute privilege to have worked with Ray so closely over the past 20 years and to consider Ray as a friend.

"My sincere sympathy to Ray's wife and family and friends."

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "As a mark of respect for Cllr Phil Awford and former Cllr Ray Theodoulou, who have both sadly passed away, the flag on Shire Hall will be lowered to half-mast until the County Council meeting on March 22, and a minute's silence will be observed at that meeting.

"Phil and Ray represented their communities with passion and dedication over many years, and both men were well liked and respected by staff and councillors alike.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to their families and loved ones."

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