Tributes have been paid to Councillor Geoffrey Watt (Conservative, West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward), who has died after a short illness.
Councillor Watt was first elected in 1999 for the Royden Ward. Following boundary changes, he was elected in 2004 for the new ward of West Kirby and Thurstaston, and was later re-elected in 2008, 2012, and 2016.
In 2018, Councillor Watt was elected as Wirral’s 45th Mayor, and his wife Anne served as Mayoress. Addressing his family, friends and colleagues in his debut mayoral speech, Councillor Watt said he was “deeply honored” to be elected as the Mayor of Wirral. His chosen charities were Wirral RNLI and Wirral’s Forester’s Horn Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association, for which he had raised thousands of pounds over the years.
The current Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith, said: "Geoffrey was a dedicated councillor, keen sailor and an avid rugby supporter. He will be missed by the many people who loved him and I would like to publicly thank him and his wife Anne for their service to the borough. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Councillor Jeff Green, who represented West Kirby and Thurstaston Ward with Geoffrey Watt, said: “Geoffrey was an outstanding councillor, Mayor, sailor and man.
“He was totally committed to his family, Anne and their children Johnathon and Caroline, the people of Wirral and the residents of West Kirby and Thurstaston.
“Geoffrey faced his sudden illness with the strength and courage he showed throughout his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Geoffrey’s family at this very sad time.”
Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Ian Lewis, added: “Geoffrey Watt was one of the finest examples of public service we have ever seen in Wirral. He was totally dedicated to his role, rarely complained and always gave his full attention to the issues before him.
“He was assiduous in preparing for meetings and for gathering the evidence and the facts to inform his argument. He was respected by people in his community, in his political Group and across the Council chamber.
“Geoffrey, and Anne, were incredibly proud to be appointed Mayor and Mayoress and we were incredibly fortunate to have them.”