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‘You don’t come across too many people like Cliff in your life’ - Tributes after death of former Norfolk County Council leader

PUBLISHED: 08:16 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:53 11 June 2018

Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who has died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who has died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk County Council

Tributes were today continuing to be paid following the death of former Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan.

Cliff Jordan in 2005, when he was leader of Breckland District Council. Pic: Ian Burt. Cliff Jordan in 2005, when he was leader of Breckland District Council. Pic: Ian Burt.

Conservative Mr Jordan died surrounded by his family at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital yesterday afternoon. He was 73.

His death came just weeks after he stood down as leader and councillor at County Hall, following a diagnosis of lung cancer.

Politicians from across the political divide have been paying tribute to Mr Jordan, with his former deputy and the current leader of Norfolk County Council expressing their feelings this morning.

Alison Thomas, county councillor for Long Stratton, who served as Mr Jordan’s deputy at County Hall, said: “It has been my honour to spend three years working beside Cliff for the good of Norfolk. You would struggle to find a kinder, more passionate Norfolk man.

“Behind the larger than life frame and personality was a man of true grit. Always challenging and questioning could we be brave, ‘do different’ but get better outcomes with our increasingly strained resources for the Norfolk people. Never one to shy away from a challenge or a tough decision.

“Cliff was one of my dearest friends and those that worked with us know we shared many challenges but every day had laughter and friendship too.

“I will miss him terribly but hope that Norfolk remembers him with compassion. He gave everything to his county, including his health and soldiered on, ignoring his pain, to do the right thing.”

And current Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor, who succeeded Mr Jordan, said: “It was very sad news to hear that Cliff had passed away just over three weeks from when he told everyone how ill he was.

“A brave man with immense fortitude to have gone through what he did and still remain at the helm of Norfolk County Council.

“On behalf of Norfolk County Council I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends and our thoughts are with them all at what is a very difficult time.

“Cliff was a big man with a big presence. He had a big heart and was dedicated to everything he did from his time as leader of Breckland Council and his time as an influential county councillor and ultimately leader, always wanting to drive things forward.

“You don’t come across too many people like Cliff in your life. He spoke his mind and, whilst everyone didn’t always agree with him, he was respected.

“Having known Cliff for well over 20 years, although not always agreeing with him, I know he will be a sad loss to Norfolk politics and to Norfolk itself.”

And Dr Wendy Thomson, chief executive at Norfolk County Council, said: “I know how much he appreciated his relationship with all the council staff and we ours with him. He understood the importance of everyone working together for Norfolk. His loss will be deeply felt.”

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, said: “I am saddened to learn of Cliff’s passing. A dedicated Norfolk voice is silenced and the county is lesser for it. My condolences to his family and many friends.”

Emma Corlett, deputy leader of the Labour group on Norfolk County Council, said: “Our condolences to Cliff’s family for their sad loss. Cliff was a true Norfolk character on the political landscape and will be missed.”

Norfolk-born Mr Jordan, who had grown-up sons and was a great-grandfather, had been a county councillor for Yare and All Saints since 2001.

He became leader of the Conservative group in March 2015 before becoming council leader in May the following year.

He had served on Breckland District Council from May 1991 until May 2015, and was leader of the authority from 1998 to 2005.

Messages of condolence can be sent to the leader’s office, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH and they will be passed on to Mr Jordan’s family.

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