Tributes paid to North Staffordshire ‘community champion’ and former mayor


Tributes have been paid to a former mayor who made an ‘unparalleled’ contribution to village and public life.

Community champion David Becket has died following a battle with cancer.

He served on Newcastle Borough Council between 2002 and 2015 as ward councillor for Betley and leader of the Liberal Democrat group.

David was named town mayor in 2011/12 and became an Alderman in 2015 when he retired from the council.

Councillor Simon Tagg, the leader of the borough council, said: “David was a very hardworking community champion right to the end.

Former Newcastle borough councillor David Becket

“As a former mayor and a cabinet member he served the borough well over many years.

“As a colleague and a friend he will be missed by many.

“I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife Anne and the family at this sad time.”

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Father-of-two David was born in Hereford in 1936, and served two years of national service with the Royal Corps of Signals.

After leaving the military he worked as an electronic engineer in the IT industry.

David and Anne moved to Betley in 1971. Work took them to Berkshire in 1987, but they returned to Betley in 2000 following Anne’s retirement from teaching.

A keen historian, David was chairman of Betley Local History Society and treasurer of the Friends of Brampton Museum.

David and Anne Becket

He and Anne had a shared interest in church bell ringing and also enjoyed travel, gardening, cooking and were patrons of the New Vic Theatre.

A spokesman for Brampton Museum said:  “We are very sad to hear of the death of David Becket.

“David was the treasurer of the Friends of the Museum and an avid supporter of the work the museum. We will miss his enthusiasm, ideas and his contribution.

“As a key member of the Betley Local History Society David was a keen local historian and gave talks at the museum, including one about Grand Duke Michael of Russia.

“He worked with the museum to save the toll gate sign from Wrinehill and which is now part of the museum’s collection.”

Former Newcastle mayor David Becket

In a statement on its website announcing the sad news, Betley Local History Society said: “David has made an unprecedented contribution to the vitality and dynamism of the society.

 “During his time with the society his detailed, diligent research work and, more recently, his abilities as our chair to coordinate and lead our proceedings with such professionalism and patience have inspired us, and have been greatly valued by all of us.

“For over 40 years, David’s extraordinary contributions to public life, village life and local history society activities have been unparalleled. The loss is irreplaceable.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”





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