‘Gainsborough has lost a great man’

Mel Starkey
Mel Starkey

A DEDICATED Gainsborough Town and West Lindsey District Councillor has been remembered with fond tributes after dying suddenly last week.

Melvyn Lionel Starkey, 61, was commonly known as ‘Mel’ and served as both a district and town councillor for many years.

Mel was first elected to West Lindsey in 1987 and had an illustrious career in local government within the authority.

He was extremely well known both for his job of being a postman for Royal Mail and also in his work as a Councillor for the East Ward of Gainsborough and also as a Town Councillor.

Chairman of the Riverside Festival Committee and former Mayor Tim Davies knew and worked with Mel for over 20 years.

“Gainsborough has lost a truly great man,” said Tim. “Not only did I have the pleasure of knowing Mel as a friend, but he also worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the Riverside Festival and Friends of Richmond Park.”

Tim continued: “For the last two years, he even paid for the Riverside Festival fireworks himself out of his councillor initiative fund.”

“It didn’t matter where in town you were from - if you stopped him in the street he was always willing to speak to you and would do everything possible to help you if he could. Mel always lit the room up when he walked in and was so joyful and bubbly.”

He added: “His friends and family will miss his smile and attitude and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Former Councillor Pearl Banyard also knew and worked with Mel for many years.

“He was a true friend and fine gentleman,” said Pearl. “Rest in peace Mel - you’ll be very sadly missed.”

Edwin James Fawcett now lives in Singapore but knew Mel when they worked together for Royal Mail in Gainsborough.

“Even though our political views were poles apart we managed to find some common ground,” he said. “He always cared about his constituents, even those that did not vote for him, and Gainsborough has lost a great servant.”

In the time he has served on West Lindsey Mel served on several committees and sub committees.

“We have all be so saddened to hear of the untimely and sudden death of Mel Starkey,” said West Lindsey councillor David Cotton.

“In his passing West Lindsey has lost a very able servant of the people and the council.”

He continued: “Always a Liberal Democrat, he wasn’t one to wear his politics on his sleeve and was well respected by all members in the chamber across the political divide.”

Coun Cotton went on: “In the civic year 2006-2007 Mel was vice chairman of the council and in 2007-2008 Chairman of the Authority.”

“During his year as Chairman Mel returned to the Isle of Man and it was arranged for him to address the Isle of Man Parliament the Tynwald. That was one of the proudest moments of his life.”

“Mel leaves a family of whom he was justly proud and our thoughts are very much with them, but as a council West Lindsey has a large hole left by Mel.”

Coun Cotton added: “We will all miss him and his ready wit and style of being a councillor.”