Three-time mayor Alan Hodkinson always fought to get best for his town
THREE-TIME Mayor of Ashbourne Alan Hodkinson has died aged 59.
Mr Hodkinson, who was a member of the town council for 19 years, died suddenly at his home in Anacre Close, Snelston.
A father-of-two and a grandfather, Mr Hodkinson was also a former chairman of the Derbyshire Dales District Council.
He joined Ashbourne Town Council in 1994 and first became mayor of the town in 1999. He came back for a second stint in 2005, and stayed on again in 2006.
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Last year, he was made deputy mayor, serving alongside the town's current mayor Steve Bull.
Mr Bull said: "Alan was a dear friend of mine and always wanted the best for the people of Ashbourne.
"He was very dedicated as a councillor and fought hard to get what he knew was right for the town.
"Once he believed in something, he fought for it and never gave up. He will be greatly missed in the town, and as part of the council."
Mr Hodkinson was a frequent voice in the pages of the Derby Telegraph, forthcoming with his views on developments in the town, critical of £2.5m flood defences built in Ashbourne but putting forward creative ideas for ways the town could celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee.
After news of his death, a meeting of Ashbourne Town Council was postponed as a mark of respect. Mr Hodkinson's funeral took place at St Peter's Church in Snelston on January 23.
Mr Hodkinson played a big part in the town's Shrovetide football planning committee and was behind the decision for the positioning of the Shrovetide Plinth – where the ball is turned up, meaning it is put into play – in Shaw Croft.
Mr Bull said: "It was one of Alan's dreams to turn up the ball for Shrovetide. It's a great honour to be asked to do it and is a reflection of the work you do. Alan was a prime candidate for it.
"Now, unfortunately, Alan will never get the chance to take part in the celebrations."