Some sad news. Stan Taylor, a former councillor and leader of Oxford City Council from 1994 to 1996, passed away this morning.
I got to know Stan when we represented neighbouring wards in eastern Oxford between 2002 and 2004. He was always full of good advice and respected by councillors and local residents regardless of their political affiliation. He was one of the kindest and gentlest people I've ever known, with a sharp and dry wit. Every contribution that he made in the Labour Group or in public meetings was measured, thoughtful and he had a tremendous knack of getting to the heart of an issue and making suggestions which people on different sides of an argument could see the wisdom of (an extremely valuable skill on the Cowley Area Committee).
He grew up and lived all his life in Oxford, and he was an amateur scholar of the history of the city, full of fascinating anecdotes and nuggets of wisdom. He was a socialist in the very best kind of way, someone who spent his time not seeking personal glory or advancement but instead serving his community and using his considerable talents to help other people and improve the city and community where he lived and which he loved.