'Fun-loving and hard-working' former mayor Cliff Barber sadly dies

Cliff Barber served as Mayor of North East Lincolnshire in 2015/16
Cliff Barber has sadly died following a battle with cancer -Credit:Duncan Young/Grimsby Telegraph

Moving tributes have been paid to former mayor for North East Lincolnshire, Cliff Barber, who sadly died at the weekend after battling cancer.

Cliff, 61, was praised for his valour in the face of his terminal illness, about which he spoke publicly over a year ago. He raised thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Care following his diagnosis.

Hailed as a legend and a gentleman in his community, he served as mayor of North East Lincolnshire in 2015-16. As a Labour councillor, he represented Freshney ward for several years.


Newly-elected Labour councillor for South ward, Sheldon Mill, said: "The way he dealt with it (cancer) was admirable. It is typical of him to help raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan while battling the illness."

He added: "I was fortunate to know him for over six years. I am proud to be called a friend of Cliff. He was a charmer. He would get all the councillors together over fish and chips to talk about how to get ward funding. His friendship transcended party politics. He knew everyone after being landlord of TCs on the Docks and at The Valiant. He loved representing the town and was a popular mayor. It is a really sad loss for the town."

Fellow former Mayor Peggy Elliott said: "Cliff was a fun-loving man, a down-to-earth and hard-working guy. He always did it with a joke and a smile. He ran the Valiant for many years and had a reputation as a good landlord and a good man."

Former Mayor Cliff Barber raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support following his diagnosis
Former Mayor Cliff Barber raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support following his diagnosis -Credit:GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford

Grimsby and Cleethorpes Labour Party posted a tribute expressing members' deep sorrow.

They said: "Known for his big personality and constant smile, Cliff took immense pride in serving as Mayor. As Grimsby's first citizen, he truly represented the best of us, making significant contributions that will be greatly missed.

"He was one of our own and will be profoundly missed by all of us. During this difficult period, our thoughts are with his family."

Paying tribute, North East Lincolnshire Mayor, Councillor Ian Lindley, said: "The news of Cliff’s passing is truly devastating. He served the borough as Mayor from 2015 to 2016, overseeing events like Grimsby Town’s return to the Football League. It’s an honour to be in the same post as he was and we will all look back on his tenure with fondness.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder Economy, Net Zero, Skills and Housing, said: “I got to know Cliff well when he was a councillor then then as Mayor. He put his life and soul into the role. He was a great ambassador as First Citizen and was very popular. He will be sadly missed by all of us.”

A year ago, after his terminal diagnosis, Cliff said: "They've told me nothing can be done so I just intend to go out, enjoy myself and make memories with my friends and family while I still can."