Tributes pour in from across the political spectrum to long-serving councillor Doug

Honorary Alderman and former West Norfolk councillor Doug Benefer has died aged 94.

Mr Benefer was a councillor for 37 years and has been described as “one of the outstanding Labour councillors of our borough in the 20th century”.

He was part of the successful Labour administration elected to power in 1995 as a tide of change and protest swept the country away from the politics of John Major’s ruling Conservative party.

Doug Benefer (63430030)
Doug Benefer (63430030)

Mr Benefer died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn on March 21, surrounded by his family.

Following the news of his death, expressions of sadness came from across the political spectrum.

West Norfolk’s current mayor, Conservative Lesley Bambridge, spoke about Mr Benefer at a recent meeting of the full council in Lynn Town Hall.

She said: “Sadly, we heard this week of the death of Honorary Alderman Doug Benefer.

“He was a councillor for 37 years and as chairman of the leisure and tourism committee he introduced the leisure card which allowed use of leisure facilities at Lynnsport and other venues.

“He was a real Linnet and went to school in King’s Lynn and worked at King’s Lynn docks.

“It was before my time as a councillor but I did have a lovely chat with him last November, and his brother Ted, at their sister’s 100th birthday, so that was a great honour.”

Mr Benefer is from a well known local family, with Edward Benefer Way named after his father, and his brother Ted also a former councillor and a Honorary Alderman.

Dr Paul Richards, who was borough mayor when Labour held power in the 1990s, said: “I first met Doug in 1991 when I became a Labour councillor – he had already been such for many years – 37 I believe before retirement.

“Doug and I had different interests, he was particularly involved in Lynnsport and widening leisure opportunities for the public, though of course we saw a good deal of each other in meetings of various kinds.

“We shared a love of King’s Lynn and tried our best to promote the town as a tourist attraction and in other ways.

“I always admired his robust and honest approach to life and politics.

“Doug was certainly one of the outstanding Labour councillors of our borough in the 20th century.”

Former Conservative leader and mayor, Nick Daubney, echoed Dr Richards’ sentiments,

He said: “I was personally very sad to hear of the death of Doug Benefer. We did serve in the council chamber together, and he was one of those big characters who you do hold in high respect and he did so much for this borough.”

Independent councillor Jo Rust, a former Labour councillor, added: “I would pay tribute to Doug and the whole Benefer family for the difference they have made to the lives of people in King’s Lynn.”

Mr Benefer most recently lived in Swaffham but spent much of his life in Lynn.

He leaves behind two sons, Alan and Don, plus grandchildren and great-grand children. The funeral service will be held at Mintlyn Crematorium on Tuesday, April 18, at 2.30pm.

Family flowers only by request. Donations, if desired, can be made online for the British Heart Foundation via