Tributes paid to former Lord Mayor of Liverpool

Tributes have been paid to a “proud and decent” former Lord Mayor of Liverpool who died earlier this month.

Friends and political colleagues have expressed their sadness at the death of former Speke-Garston councillor Frank Roderick, 69, on 6 July. Mr Roderick served as Lord Mayor in 2004-05 before leaving the council in 2006.

Members from all sides stood in a moment of silence to remember the former Liberal Democrat member at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday.

Mr Roderick was Lord Mayor at a busy and challenging time for the city of Liverpool. He led the criticism of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he made disparaging remarks about Liverpool and led city-wide tributes following the tragic murder of Ken Bigley in Iraq in October 2004.

Initially a member of the Labour Party, Mr Roderick acted as security for former Prime Minister Harold Wilson during his visits to the city. He was elected initially to the city council in the 1980s as member for Allerton before stepping down due to ill health.

He was returned in 1994 as councillor for St Mary’s, which would become the Speke-Garston ward. He described his proudest moment as representing the city at the 2005 Champions League final as Liverpool brought home the trophy.

It is understood Mr Roderick died after a battle with illness, just months after standing as a candidate in May’s all-out elections. In an obituary notice, the former Lord Mayor’s family paid tribute to his life and career.

It said, “A proud and decent Liverpool man. Reunited with our mum and dad, Joan and Eddie. 

“Frank was so deeply loved, cherished, and admired by his sister Joanne. He was her great pal, and she will miss his chats, kindness, advice and wisdom so much. 

“He was a great friend and much loved brother in law to John, and a beloved Uncle to Elizabeth, Peter, Christopher and Michael John, their partners and his great nephews and niece. You suffered with such dignity for so long big brother, it’s time for you to have some peace.”

Current Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Rasmussen, offered her tribute to her predecessor. She said, “I was extremely saddened to hear about Frank.

“He was a larger than life character who was dedicated to serving his community, always championing causes on behalf of his constituents. His ability to connect with people came to the fore when he was Lord Mayor in 2004 to 2005 – he thrived in the role and was a true ambassador for Liverpool.

“I would like to send my condolences to his family – a family he talked so fondly of. He will be very much missed.”

Members of Mr Roderick’s former party were among those to offer their memories too. Cllr Lord Mike Storey was leader of Liverpool Council when Mr Roderick was Lord Mayor.

He said, “He came from a staunch Labour family and he broke the mould. He was a stalwart of our group and a champion of older people.

“Frank was someone who would tell you how it is and would accept nonsense. It was to be admired, he would say it how it was.

“I was deeply impressed by how he cared and how he was steeped in what people thought. He never got carried away with himself, he was a genuine person.”

Cllr Pat Moloney added, “Frank was a man who was intensely loyal and a stalwart of our party. I knew him for 20 odd years, he was an elder statesman and stood in May’s elections so we could give people as much of a chance.

“He readily accepted our request and was a man I had tremendous respect for.” Cllr Steve Radford served on the city’s licensing committee with Mr Roderick.

He said, “He had a great sense of humour and we always had friendly banter. I had an excellent working relationship with him and there was a great sadness when I heard the news.

“There is a great sense of personal loss and it’s a loss for the city.”

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