A veteran community leader who represented “a model of what public representatives should be” has died.
County Cllr Ron Hampson, also a Buckley Town Council member for 27 years and a former mayor, died on Monday at the age of 79 after a short battle with cancer.
Cllr Hampson, of Melbourne Road, is survived by his wife Rita, son Stephen, 47, and daughter Michelle, 42.
Mrs Hampson said her husband of almost 50 years had “battled for people” and himself in his final weeks and had planned five more years as a councillor.
She said: “It came quicker than we expected. We thought he would pull through.
“He was planning ahead and kept on with the council. Being a councillor was his pride and joy.
“Ron wasn’t one to complain and showed his bravery right until the end, I’m astonished how he got through it.
“It doesn’t seem like it has happened and he was a very kind, caring man, the love of my life.”
Flintshire Council leader Cllr Aaron Shotton paid tribute to his Labour colleague and a “stalwart” of County Hall.
He said: “Ron was one of the most dedicated community leaders I have had the pleasure of serving with.
“He gave over 25 years of service to his town at both district and county council level.
“He was passionate about social justice, specialising in housing issues.
“Ron was also a true stalwart of the Alyn and Deeside Labour Party, an irreplaceable campaigner who will be much missed by all his colleagues.”
“Our hearts go out to Rita, Ron’s wife and to his children Michelle and Stephen at this difficult time.”
Mark Tami, Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside, said Cllr Hampson’s death was a “very, very sad loss for Flintshire”.
He said: “He was a great friend to me and someone I’d known for a number of years and was very friendly to me going right back to 2001.
“He was a great councillor for the area and will be sadly, sadly missed.
“Ron was so hard-working, never turned anyone away and was always there for the people he represented.
“He was the model of what public representatives should be.”
Mr Tami’s predecessor in Westminster, Lord Barry Jones, said Cllr Hampson had been a “man for all seasons”.
He said: “He was a consistent, good, loyal friend and was a very fine man to whom I owe a great deal.
“He was a dedicated,
hard-working councillor who was successful and always considerate to the needs of his ward.
“This was a man for all seasons.”
Carl Sargeant, Assembly Member for Alyn and Deeside, said Cllr Hampson was a “true friend” and his dedication to the cause was “immeasurable”.
He added: “Ron was a loyal member of the Labour Party who believed in a fair and caring society where we look after each other.
“He embodied this ethos in the way he represented his community.
“Ron walked miles around his patch every day, knew everyone, and worked tirelessly for the people of his ward. His dedication, support and love for his family and friends was immeasurable.
“He was a true friend and I will miss him. My thoughts are with Ron’s family during this difficult time.
“I know they meant the world to him.”
Mayor of Buckley, Cllr Dennis Hutchinson, was a long-time friend of Cllr Hampson’s and spoke fondly of their shared love of football.
He said: “Ron and I were very, very good friends for more than 30 years, close to 35 years.
“He remembered me as a referee and I recall him as a player in local football and we both went on to become councillors, getting on famously.
“We worked together on a number of things and I’m devastated at his passing.”
Cllr Carol Ellis worked alongside Cllr Hampson on Buckley Town Council and said she had “nothing but good words to say about him”.
“Ron was a gentleman. Everybody liked Ron and he was a really good councillor,” she said.
“He spent his life helping people and I’ve much respect for him. He dealt with his illness bravely.
“He was a brilliant town and county councillor, very loyal to the Labour Party and brought humour to the meetings.
“My husband Dave (fellow Buckley Town Council member) knew Ron all his life and had a great fondness for him.”
A statement of condolence was also made by Buckley Town Council on its Facebook page.
It read: “It is with deep sadness that the town council has to report that Cllr Ron Hampson passed way on August 7.
“Cllr Hampson had been a member of the town council for 27 years and was town mayor in 1997.
“He was both respected and liked by everyone who met him.
“The town council’s thoughts and condolences go to Mrs Hampson and family.”
Cllr Hampson was a member of Flintshire Council from the shadow authority elections in May 1995, having previously served as an Alyn and Deeside district councillor from 1991.
Social housing was always one of Cllr Hampson's passions and at the time of his death he was the chairman of the community and enterprise overview and scrutiny committee, which has the council’s housing responsibilities.
Cllr Brian Lloyd, chairman of Flintshire Council, said: “Ron was a well-respected and loved member of the council and I know he will be sadly missed by his colleagues.”
Chief executive Colin Everett paid tribute to a long-standing public servant.
He said: “Ron was incredibly popular with council employees, especially those within Democratic Services and Housing with whom he had a particular bond.”
Aston councillor George Hardcastle said: “I was
vice-chairman of housing to
Ron who was the chairman for about 12 to 14 years.
“He was a terrific councillor and one of the best. He will be sadly missed by everyone.
“Ron was a very, very good friend of mine. He always said we were a team.
“We went through a lot together and he was always there to give advice.”
A former builder, Cllr Hampson was also an active member of the Royal British Legion and was the Flintshire nominee on the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve.
Funeral details are to be confirmed.
See full story in the Leader