TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Lord Mayor of York who had a zest for the city both within and outside the political world.

John Boardman, who died last week, served as the city’s civic figurehead in 1995-96 – during which time he fought against the threat of the historic post being axed because of boundary changes.

He was elected as Labour councillor for Fishergate on the old York City Council in 1988, a position he held through the authority’s transition to City of York Council until the 2003 local elections.

He also worked as a secondary school teacher and bus driver.

Mr Boardman’s death follows the loss of another former Lord Mayor, 90-year-old Jack Archer, who passed away last week.

As mayor, Mr Boardman stood up for York’s right to keep the official role when Government legislation drafted in 1995 initially failed to retain the metropolis’ status as a city in the proposed blueprint for a new Greater York Council – with an appeal to the Queen ultimately seeing two new charters drawn up protecting its position.

“John was a good servant to the Labour Party for a number of years and was extremely proud of the city,” said Coun David Scott, current leader of the council’s Labour group.

“Many people who knew John will remember him sharing his knowledge and love of York on the city’s tour buses, during and after his period as a councillor came to an end. He will be sorely missed.”

Clifton councillor Ken King, who succeeded Mr Boardman as mayor, said: “I always found John a hard-working, conscientious local councillor and he was an extremely hard act to follow as Lord Mayor.

“He enjoyed working with people – that’s why he became a councillor.”

Current Fishergate councillor Andy D’Agorne described Mr Boardman as “a local character who gave a lot to the city”, while fellow ward member Dave Taylor said that, when he moved to York in 1983, he regularly shared a drink and a political chat with him.

“He was my councillor at that time and we often talked about politics and the goings-on at the council in the pub together,” he said.

“He was always good for an opinion and we rarely disagreed about things to any significant degree. I shall miss him.”