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Path to be named in tribute to campaigning former mayor
FORMER mayor Rex Barnett who campaigned tirelessly for residents in his ward is to have a path named after him.
Rex died in June this year after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma at the end of his mayoral year in 2011.
For almost two years, during his time as councillor in Haydon Wick, Rex campaigned to have a path resurfaced so that elderly residents in James Wilks House and local residents with mobility problems could access local amenities more easily.
Rex was initially told there was no funding available to complete the work but, after speaking to the council’s North Locality team and fellow North Swindon councillors, he finally secured the necessary money to resurface the path, which runs from Haydon Court to the centre of Haydon Wick.
It was to prove his last major victory on behalf of local residents.
As a tribute to Rex, the council is naming the path Rex Barnett Walk in his memory. His wife Sandra and his two daughters will be present at the unveiling of the walkway signs next Monday and will be joined by fellow ward councillors including leader of the council, Coun David Renard, who was a close friend of Rex.
Sandra said: “We all miss Rex so much but having this tribute to him and knowing how respected and loved he was gives us great comfort.”
Rex was elected to the Haydon Wick ward in 2007 and served on numerous committees. He will be most remembered for his time as mayor, when he and Sandra raised a record £68,000 for local charities.
Coun Renard said: “I am so pleased we have the opportunity to recognise Rex’s achievements on behalf of residents.
“If he were with us, I think he would be quite chuffed and I can hear him saying to me ‘Thanks chief’.
“This tribute will help ensure that we never forget one of life’s great characters.”
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