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Cambridgeshire pays tribute to ‘father of the council’

04 January 2024

Cambridgeshire County Council has paid tribute to ‘father of the council’ Cllr Mac McGuire, whose death was announced at the start of the year.

Cllr McGuire – or Mac as he was known to councillors, council staff and the residents he served in the Yaxley and Farcet division – was the county council’s longest serving councillor, having first been elected to Cambridgeshire County Council from 1985 to 1992, and then again continuously from 1997.

During that time, he held a range of key and senior political roles, including chair of council, deputy leader, cabinet member for highways and transport and cabinet member for community engagement. He was also a strong advocate for and supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant in Cambridgeshire. Cllr McGuire also served as a member of Huntingdonshire District Council until 2022.

“Mac was a proud servant of Cambridgeshire people and a strong and effective chair of the county council, as well as being immensely proud of his Scottish roots,” said Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, Cambridgeshire’s chair of council. “It is very fitting for someone so invested in making improvements for generations to come, that it was he who buried a memory box under our New Shire Hall headquarters in 2021. As well as mementos of that time, it contains the hopes of local school children for their future and is set under a plaque which bears his name.”

“It has greatly saddened me and the members of my group to learn that Councillor Mac McGuire has passed away. Our condolences and sympathy are with his wife Viv and the family he leaves behind. Mac was a steady guiding force, a font of knowledge and help to one and all. For me, I was extremely grateful for the support he unselfishly gave me in all the 12 years we have worked side by side. He will be missed by me immensely," said Cllr Steve Count, leader of the Conservative Group on Cambridgeshire County Council.

“Mac was not only a long serving councillor but an extremely dedicated and important one. He played a critical part in making the decisions which led to the improvements to the A14, to the setting up of the combined authority and as chair of the council during the pandemic helped to guide our meetings through that incredibly difficult time,” said Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of the council. “He has also been a friend and support to so many of us across the political lines in the council. Unfailingly polite and charming, we will miss his presence, his good humour, his experience, and wisdom enormously.”

“I remember Mac fondly from the time I joined the council as a backbench opposition member. He was always happy to chat, to advise, and to work across political lines. I will always be grateful for the help and advice he gave me and I will miss him enormously. My thoughts and those of the Labour Group are with his loved ones at this very sad time,” said Cllr Elisa Meschini, deputy leader of the council.

“Mac was the sort of public representative who put the community first. He was always willing to help if you went to him with a local issue, particularly related to highways and road safety. He leaves a remarkable legacy of public service, and we will all miss him," said Cllr Tom Sanderson, leader of the Independent Group on the council.