Tributes paid to former mayor David Atkinson

David Atkinson former Mayor
David Atkinson former Mayor

A former Mayor of Wakefield who served as a Labour councillor for more than 20 years has died.

Tributes have been paid to David Atkinson, who died on August 9 at Pinderfields Hospital, aged 79, after battling cancer.

David Atkinson ran the Sandal Castle 10k.

David Atkinson ran the Sandal Castle 10k.

Mr Atkinson worked tirelessly as a councillor for 21 years, serving the people of Stanley and Altofts and later the Stanley and Outwood East ward up until his retirement in 2008.

A fire officer who also served as a magistrate, Mr Atkinson dedicated all his working life to public service.

He was the district’s mayor in 2003-4, along with his wife of 57 years Sheila Atkinson as mayoress.

Mr Atkinson is survived by Sheila, 80, daughters Beverley and Anita, grandchildren Sarah, Rachel, Ben, John-Joseph and Alexander, and great grandson Maximus.

Sheila Atkinson said: “David was a very caring and very kind man.

“He cared a lot about people.”

Mr Atkinson was also a keen athlete who represented the Royal Air Force during his National Service and the British Fire Service at national and international level.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s deputy leader, said Mr Atkinson helped bring the World Cross Country Championship for people with learning difficulties to Wakefield.

She said: “We are very saddened to learn that former Wakefield Mayor David Atkinson has died.

“David will be very much missed by everyone who knew him and our thoughts go to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Coun Jeffery said tributes would be paid at the next Wakefield Council meeting.

Mr Atkinson’s family said a date for his funeral was yet to be set.