Tributes to a highly respected councillor

John Foran (centre) pictured with councillors Graham Hall (left) and David Kirton (right)
John Foran (centre) pictured with councillors Graham Hall (left) and David Kirton (right)

THE funeral will be held tomorrow of former Calderdale councillor John Foran who has died following a suspected heart attack.

Tributes have been paid to the former deputy leader of Calderdale Council who represented the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward from 1990 to 2006.

For many years he was chairman of the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Conservative Association and also served as chairman of the council’s finance and planning committees.

His record of public service also extended to working for improvements in Halifax.

He had been director of the West Central Halifax Partnership, Halifax Town Centre working party and Halifax Borough Market group.

Calderdale Council’s Condervative group leader Stephen Baines said Mr Foran was a highly respected councillor and a valued member of the group.

Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said Mr Foran took his role as councillor very seriously but had a ready sense of humour.

“He was a very jolly person and could always be relied on for a joke. He was sad when he lost his seat in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe but, at the same time, he realised it was all part of local politics. He was held in the highest esteem by his council colleagues.”

Coun Graham Hall (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said: “John was one of those people who had the ability to work with officers and people across the council of all parties to reach the best outcome for residents.”

Mr Foran had also been a governor at St Joseph’s J and I School, Hove Edge, and was an honorary member of Queensbury and Shelf Round Table.

He was born in Hipperholme and went to schools in Halifax and Brighouse. After serving a six year apprenticeship with Asquith Machine Tools in Halifax, he joined the merchant navy at the age of 21 and became the youngest ever first officer on the Cunard Line. He met his future wife Brenda in 1965 but, because he was away at sea, the couple didn’t marry until 1973. They have two daughters, Jane and Claire, a son John-Paul and a grand-daughter Celia.

Mr Foran became a director of Fees Construction at Beacon Hill, Halifax, and later of Elliot Crane and Plant Hire at Cromwell Bottom, Brighouse. He had a lifelong interest in motor sports and competed in speed climbs and sprints, winning many trophies and competitions.

A requiem mass will be held at St Alban’s Church, Huddersfield Road, Halifax, tomorrow, Friday, at 12.15pm followed by a private cremation at Park Wood, Elland.