Lasting tribute decided for town stalwart Laurie

Knutsford Guardian: The late Laurie Burton The late Laurie Burton

REKNOWNED Knutsford campaigner Laurie Burton will be commemorated with a dedicated town centre bench, the town council have decided.

A bench in honour of the former chairman of Knutsford Town Plan and chair of the Tatton Labour Party was deemed a fitting and appropriate tribute at a meeting of the council’s environment committee on April 7.

Laurie, who was well known in Knutsford for passionately fighting for the rights of the town's elderly and disabled, died three years ago last month, and his friends have been calling on town leaders to provide him with a suitable and permanent tribute.

Before members discussed the item at last week’s meeting, they heard a presentation from Laurie’s friend, Charlotte Peters Rock.

“I feel that Laurie Burton deserves better than a bench, though we are grateful that it has come back to the council’s attention,” she said.

She suggested that a more ‘adequate’ idea be put forward and for the decision to be made by full council.

However, the council decided to stick with the original bench proposal – for the time being at least.

Clr Tony Dean said: “I have seen one other option, a new community centre in Knutsford. It’s a bigger idea and I would expect it to take many, many years. But I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive.

“Benches in Canute Square are very nice and we could dedicate one to Laurie Burton in the meantime.”

Clr Simon Hutchence said that it’s long been the tradition to commemorate figures in the town with a dedicated bench.

“Lots of people in the town give up their time and service quietly,” he added.

“I am not suggesting he did it very loudly but perhaps more publicly, but plenty of people will work behind the scenes and give up their time freely.”

Clr Hutchence added he didn’t think it appropriate for the council to deem one individual more worthy than others.

“One might say being mayor is the biggest honour you can achieve and I don’t think anybody else can surpass that,” he added.

Clr Vivien Davies said that the tribute was ‘long over-due’.

“I feel that it’s also a reflection on the town plan group as a whole, who have put in as much time as Laurie himself,” she added.

Clr Bancroft concluded: “He was a lovely man and gave a lot of time, as do a lot of people in the town.

“I don’t think he would have wanted an all singing and dancing commemoration.”

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