Brian Womersley, former council leader

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Brian Womersley, who has died aged 88, was an Alderman who had been leader of Bradford Council in the early years of its life as a metropolitan district.

He had been elected as a Conservative in the Morton and Keighley North East ward in 1973, shortly before the old county borough of Bradford was merged with Keighley and the urban districts of Baildon, Bingley, Ilkley, Shipley and others, along with part of the Skipton rural district, to form the new, enlarged area.

He became chairman of the management committee, then deputy leader and finally leader of the new council, succeeding John Singleton, at the end of the decade. It was the last period in which it was under Conservative control.

Sometimes blunt and always plain-speaking, he nevertheless helped pioneer the council’s involvement with the voluntary sector.

He is survived by his partner, Ann, children Susie, Sally and Sarah, and four grandchildren.