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Obituary: David Mitchell

Obituary: David MitchellClose after another recent former Councillor's death,  we're sad to report the passing of former Cllr David Mitchell, whose funeral took place in Lytham this week.

Cllr Mitchell reached 82 years of age, having retired as a Lytham Ratepayer councillor  probably two elections ago.

In his heyday he was one of only a few deep-thinking and intellectual councillors at Fylde. He was a great one for the big picture. Not for him the detailed arrangements - officers could - and should - get on with those.

Well educated and very comfortable in his own skin, he had the confidence and assurance that you often find with people of 'old money.'

He had a quiet disposition and was financially cautious - perhaps stemming from his time spent toward the end of his working life where he lectured in economics at the Blackpool and Fylde College on Clifton Drive before that body retrenched to work from Blackpool and he took retirement. 

Prior to lecturing he had been at the factory face in commerce.

At Fylde he served on several committees and rose to be Chairman of the DSO Board, a quasi-commercial operation that was created when Margaret Thatcher introduced 'compulsory competitive tendering' - councils wanting to do work on gardening or refuse collection or building maintenance and so on had to split their workforce into 'Client' and 'Contractor' operations. The 'client' remained as 'the council' and specified the work required, checked on the execution and paid the bills, and the 'Contractor' tendered in competition with commercial sector competitors and, if successful, won the work, executed it and billed 'the client' for it.

Fylde constructed a Direct Services Board to which the operational managers of its various contracting arms reported, and to whom they were accountable.

Cllr Mitchell chaired the Board for several years.

He was always a polite and, in many ways, an unassuming man, though if he got his teeth into a subject, he went in deep, and wouldn't let go until he had sorted it - and he usually did.

One place you would always find him was any event where there was a buffet. We thought he had a particular weakness for cakes and buns, and if there was an event such as a tour of inspection of the parks, where tea and sandwiches was laid on part way round, you could usually guarantee that Cllr Mitchell would be in attendance.

After leaving the Council, he maintained an interest in the Ratepayer group which was always a very social sort of organisation, and took an active interest in local politics.

He also gave of his time to the Friends of Lowther Gardens where he was treasurer.

A real classic English gentleman, deep thinking and always polite and restrained.  We will especially miss his gentle chiding when we adopted a particularly fixed position on something when he might say "Ahh but, have you thought about it from this aspect - after all there are people who would see it from that perspective you know"

Always full of ideas; always thought through. He is a loss to Fylde.

Dated:   14 October 2011


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