Road named after town legend

Family, friends and fellow councillors gathered to officially name George Parish Road after the former mayor who died last year

LEGENDARY campaigner, former mayor and councillor George Parish has been immortalised in a Banbury street.

On Saturday fellow councillors cut a ribbon to officially open George Parish Road, at new estate Banbury Rise.

Mr Parish died last November after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease for several years.

Before he became ill he led a successful campaign to stop Banbury’s Horton Hospital being downgraded in 2008, endearing him to people of the town.

He was also a long-serving town and district councillor, former Cherwell District Council chairman and was awarded an Honorary Burgess of Banbury – the town’s highest honour – in 2014.

He earned the nick-name ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Mayor’ after his themed fundraising ball during his mayoral year in 1995 to 1996.

Mr Parish’s family, fellow Labour councillors and Cherwell’s current chairman Cllr Maurice Billington and his consort Cllr Chris Heath, together with Banbury Rise developer Bloor, gathered as the road was unveiled.

Cllr Mark Cherry, Labour town, district and county councillor, said Mr Parish was “loved” by constituents and fellow councillors and was the reason he got into local politics.

Mr Cherry instigated the memorial and in just 24 hours was able to confirm a road could be named after local hero Mr Parish.

He then worked with council officers at both the town and district council and Bloor Homes to make it a reality.

He said: “The late labour councillor George Parish’s political legacy will now carry on with a road named George Parish Road. It’s been an honour to be part of making this happen.”

Cllr Billington said: “We are very proud to be opening George Parish Road along with our partners. We could not choose a better name to mark this new area with Banbury’s local history.

“George Parish deserved to be recognised as ‘People’s champion’ having served as a Labour district councillor for more than 20 years and everyone in Banbury felt an immense sense of loss at his passing last year.

“He dedicated his life to public service, campaigning on several occasions to defend the Horton as a fully functional district general hospital.”

Sean Woodcock, Labour group leader, said: “This is the least that George deserves.

“He was loved by everyone regardless of their politics.

“He is a true Banbury legend.”

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