Saturday 17 February 2018

Wayne Casey RIP - In Memory of our long serving former Mill Hill Councillor

I am saddened to learn of the passing of former Mill Hill Lib Dem Councillor Wayne Casey. Wayne was a councillor for Mill Hill ward between 1994 and 2010 when he decided to stand down as he'd recently married and was moving to Northampton. I knew Wayne very well over this period. Although I was a Labour party member until 2009, like many Mill Hill Labour supporters, I always tactically voted for Wayne and the other local Lib Dems. Wayne assisted me greatly on a couple of occasions, most notably when Barnet Council outsourced the Meals on Wheel service, resulting in my disabled mother not receiving food for several days.

In 2009, when I quit the Labour party following the misleading of parliament over the Iraq war, the support for the French Riot police brutally closing Sangatte Refugee camp and the expenses scandal that had exposed our then Labour MP as having made extravagent claims at the public expense, Wayne contacted me to ask whether I'd consider joining the Lib Dems and replacing him as the candidate. I was quite surprised. I suggested that I would make a lousy candidate. Wayne asked if I'd be worse than the Tory alternative. He acted as our election agent in 2010 and was a massive support to me. Sadly we lost and we ended up with three Tory MP's, but with Wayne's guidance, it was a great experience. 

Wayne was a real local councillor. His opposition to certain well known local rich developers took a personal toll on him. During the period in 1994-2002 where the Lib Dems were in coalition with Labour, Wayne used this opportunity to get many things done. He was a champion of localism and was instrumental in getting local area forums set up, where residents could challenge the council on any topic in regular public meetings. He championed sensible local initiatives such as the street skips, that saw the council regularly placing skips around the borough for residents to dump large items. This resulted in a huge drop in fly tipping. Wayne also supported the councils improvements to road safety locally. Under the administration there was a large reduction in people being injured due to car accidents. Road humps and other traffic calming measures were instituted. Sadly, the Conservatives ripped these out as soon as they could and Barnet has seen rising problems since.

After moving to Northampton, Wayne stood for the Lib Dems in the County Council Elections. He was considering standing in the forthcoming local council elections. Wayne was recently featured in an article in the local press, representing the family of Aliza Gammon, a victim of a Zeppelin raid on Northampton.

The article said
"The grave of Aliza Gammons and her twin daughters Gladys and Lily lies in Dallington Cemetery. Their father Henry Gammons, a railway bricklayer, was away at the time. The Zeppelin L45 airship, had been trying to reach Liverpool, but was blown off course and dropped an estimated 66 bombs on Northampton instead. The Gammons are believed to be Northampton's only victims of WW1 air raids, which killed more than 500 people throughout the UK. At 11:00 today, Mrs Gammon's great-great grandson, Wayne Casey, will lead a ceremony at their graveside at Dallington Cemetery"

Wayne at theMill Hill Lib Dems curry at the Day of the Raj in 2010
Wayne was also good fun. During the campaign of 2010, we had regular curries, often at The Day of The Raj. Wayne's house was the nerve centre of our operations and Wayne and his wife Pauline always made us welcome. I was sorry to see Wayne move to Northampton, as he was a genuinely decent guy and always good for a chat. It appears that he may have had a heart problem and passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am sure all long standing Mill Hill residents will mourn our departed friend.  


Unknown said...

A truly good man. A great councillor and good friend even if I was a Labour Councillor and he Lib Dem.. Heart broken at news.

Matthew Harris said...

A heartfelt tribute that I am sure Wayne would have appreciated. Tragic news. He was a person of rare integrity and utterly lacking in rancour. As Roger says, he was our Lib Dem agent in 2010, when Roger stood for the local council in Mill Hill and I was the Parliamentary candidate for Hendon. Wayne had a superb political brain and was a wonderful human being.

Dino V said...

Lovely service today:)

Dino V said...

Lovely service and send off today.