A popular councillor hailed as a “true working-class hero” who died last month will be immortalised with a street named after him, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has announced.
It came as fellow Labour members paid tribute to Mike Langley, known for his dedication to his Brislington East ward and Hawaiian shirts, by wearing colourful, flowery tops in his honour during a full council meeting on Tuesday night (November 12).
Councillors from all parties spoke fondly of the devoted family man, passionate Bristol Rovers fan and trade unionist before observing a minute’s silence.
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Mr Rees said he intended to make the retired bus driver, who died from cancer on October 17 , an honorary alderman before next May.
“Mike’s memory will live on with us for years but in consultation with the family, just as we created Ron Stone Road in Speedwell, we will be aiming to make a permanent marker to Mike by naming a road after him in Brislington,” he said, referring to another late long-serving Labour councillor who died in 2015.
Speaking about the moment he was told of 73-year-old Cllr Langley’s death, Mr Rees said: “I knew Mike had been unwell but when the news came in it was an absolute shock.
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“It’s a legacy of a life well-lived when so many people have very personal memories of what you’ve done and achieved and the role you’ve played in their lives.
“He was ferocious about his politics and beliefs but also had a strong sense of mischief in what he was trying to get done.
“He was never someone who sought the limelight but he was focused on delivering for the people of Bristol and his ward.”
Labour cabinet member Cllr Helen Holland said: “The one word that really sums him up is loyalty.
(Image: Bristol Live)
“He was extremely loyal to Brislington East, Unite the Union and also The Gas, which was his absolute passion.
“His other burning passion was his family. They are sharing the pain of their very sudden loss.
“He was one of the great characters we’ve had in this chamber.”
Conservative Cllr Peter Abraham said: “First of all, I shall just miss him.
“He was the most loyal person I knew.
“By gosh, he was proud to be a father.
“Our last conversation was about his daughter and how well she was doing well in her job and what it meant to him.
“We are in shock and we miss him.”
Green Cllr Fi Hance said: “My memories of Mike are full of laughter but he was also a very deeply principled man.
“He was devoted to his party, he was a socialist down to his very toes.
“The love of his life was his family. You rarely come across a man who was so proud of his family and adored them so completely palpably.
“It’s a massive loss to Bristol and to his colleagues and all his friends in this chamber.”
Lib Dem and fellow Brislington East ward Cllr Tony Carey, said: “We’re going to miss the humour and the loyalty.
“We join together in sending our most sincere sympathy to his family whom he spoke about with undisguised love and affection.
“We are all stunned by the loss of our colleague and friend.”
He said a tree would be planted in Brislington with a plaque in Cllr Langley’s honour.
Brislington West Labour Cllr Harriet Bradley said: “He was the ultimate family man, the absolute perfect dad and granddad.
“He was a socialist, a rebel, a trade unionist.
“Mike was totally principled, totally honest and as true as steel. Mike was a true working-class hero.”
Labour Cllr Marg Hickman said: “The chamber will be duller without your shirts and personality, Mike, and far too orderly without your heckles.
“Bristol is a better place for your service and we are all better people for knowing you.”
Alderman Mike Woollacot said: “That man had more life in him and more drive and ambition and a clear vision for the future than many people a third of his age.
“So raise a glass to Mr Langley because he was one of life’s good ‘uns.”
Cllr Langley’s family were in attendance to hear the tributes.
His funeral took place on Monday, November 11.
Cllr Langley served as the Labour and Cooperative Party councillor for Brislington East from 2011, having previously represented Frome Vale from 1990-96.
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