WARM TRIBUTES have been paid to an 'irreplaceable' long-serving district councillor who died in Stroud this week.

Stroud District Green Party has paid tribute to councillor Norman Kay, who died in Stroud Hospital on Tuesday, December 12, several weeks after having emergency surgery for a heart condition.

Norman had been a Green District Councillor for Nailsworth and Horsley since 2016 and took great pride in representing the community where he had lived since the 1980s.

At the time of his death, he was vice-chair of Stroud District Council and served on the Audit & Standards committee.

Councillor Catherine Braun, leader of Stroud District Council, said: “Norman’s commitment to serving his community, his sense of social justice, his love of nature, his generosity and his great sense of humour are all things we will remember him for.

“Norman was a great advocate for our local area. He never held back from speaking out on issues of social and environmental justice and was tenacious in his support for local projects and equalities issues.

"His principled stance on the Iraq war, which led to him joining the Greens, reflected his passion for tackling inequality and for urgent action for climate and nature.

“Norman brought so much to our party, to our community and to our council. His death was a great shock as he had been hoping to be discharged from hospital soon.

"We will greatly miss him, and our hearts go out to his wife, Kate.”

Stroud News and Journal: Warm tributes to Stroud district councillor Norman Kay who died this weekMr Kay was first elected to Stroud District Council in May 1983 as a Labour councillor for Leonard Stanley, a position he held until May 1991, having served two terms.

He was again elected, this time representing Nailsworth, in May 1996 and was re-elected in May 2000 but stepped down in 2002 after resigning from Labour over the Blair government’s decision to invade Iraq.

He then joined the Green Party, which strongly opposed the invasion, and successfully stood for election as a Green councillor in 2016, a role he had held ever since.

In the 2021 elections he held his seat in Nailsworth.

Since first elected in 1983, Norman served 21 years on Stroud District Council.

Norman was particularly keen to see further restoration of the Anti-Slavery Arch in Paganhill, which is now scheduled to take place next year. 

Norman was born in the East of London into a politically engaged Jewish family. 

By the age of 16 he was the secretary of the Independent Labour Party in Hackney and remained actively involved in politics for the rest of his life. 

He took part in the marches against the Vietnam war, and in most major demonstrations since. 

Norman had a long career as a social worker and then social services manager locally.

He was a proud trade unionist and branch secretary of the National and Local Government Officers Association.

Stroud News and Journal: Warm tributes to Stroud district councillor Norman Kay who died this weekNorman had a passion for learning and debating; he held four degrees, and had begun studying for a fifth, in environmental science.

He served on Nailsworth Town Council from 2003 to 2017 and was the town’s mayor from 2007 to 2010.

He was very active in projects in the town and until his death he was on the committees of the Horsley fete and the community-owned Horsley village shop, and he led the local defibrillator campaign.

In Nailsworth, he helped to get the trees planted in the town centre on Market Street, and to repair and restore the historic town fountain to its rightful place on Fountain Street. 

Norman loved animals and until recently kept a flock of rare breed Cotswolds sheep, which he often spoke about.

He was also had a keen interest in equalities issues and the anti-racist movement.

Norman was a committed member of the council’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion working group, and as Chair of the Group in 2021, he supported the review of street names and monuments in the district, which considered people’s views on the Blackboy clock.

He took part in Holocaust Memorial Day events in Stroud, regularly volunteered at the annual Stroud Pride event and campaigned against all forms of discrimination.