Well-known and respected St George councillor Ron Stone, who served for over 30 years, died at the Bristol Royal Infirmary yesterday after a short illness. He was 73.
Tributes have been pouring in to Cllr Stone who held many roles during his time as a councillor including chairing duties of Bristol City Council’s Licensing Committee and the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.
Mayor George Ferguson said: “I am very sorry to hear of the death of Cllr Ron Stone. He had an undying passion for Bristol and for those least able to help themselves. I always enjoyed his directness and wry humour – even when directed at me!
“As a councillor for St. George West for 30 years, Ron had a vast knowledge of his neighbourhood and the people he served, making him an excellent ward councillor who made a real difference. With his keen sense of social justice, Ron made an enormous contribution to life in Bristol. He was an ‘establishment rebel’, always without his civic robes but seldom without his camera, recording people and events.
“My deepest condolences go to his wife, family, friends and council colleagues at this sad time. Ron’s passing is a great loss to the city and the council, where his presence will be greatly missed.”
Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy said: “Ron Stone was an incredibly hard-working and conscientious councillor for St George West, who served the ward with absolute dedication for three decades. He knew his ward back to front, and was always totally on top of all the local issues and casework.
“There are many ways in which he made a tangible difference in St George West, from helping hundreds of people with individual problems, to getting investment in Meadow Vale Community Centre and the play area in St George Park.
“In November he came to Parliament to present, with Hilary Benn, a cheque for £500 to Together for Short Lives, a charity for children with life-limiting conditions. The money was raised after Ron had the idea of selling signed prints of the Tony Benn tribute which artist Stewy had done on the wall of St George Labour Club after Tony’s death. He will be greatly missed by the local Labour Party and by the people he represented for so long.”
And Labour Group leader on the city council Cllr Helen Holland said: “Ron was a long-standing councillor and a true champion of St George West – a community he was proud to serve day in and day out for those three decades.
“As a man of great integrity, Ron will be remembered as a steadfast campaigner and committed socialist dedicated to furthering social justice and equality in Bristol and beyond. The Labour Party has lost one of its most committed councillors.
“Bristol is a better city because of Ron Stone’s unwavering public service. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”