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The Croxteth champion

Larry Neild remembers Councillor Rose Bailey who died suddenly on Monday.Obituary: Councillor Rose Bailey

Published on July 14th 2010.


The Croxteth champion

ROSE Bailey was a People’s Champion - that rare breed of local councillor sticking up for her community.

Here she was, an ordinary Liverpool woman on the threshold of becoming the city’s first citizen. Not bad at all for a community worker who entered politics as she approached middle age.

She was an ordinary, unassuming wife, mother and grandmother , but she had an extended family - the whole of Croxteth – both the vast council estate as well as the private estates, one of which was famed as the home of Channel 4 soap Brookside.

In the aftermath of the shooting of young Rhys Jones, Rose was upset and angered by the way some sections of the media portrayed her beloved L11. She went to great lengths to speak up for the good side of Croxteth, whilst accepting there was a problem with gangs and gun crime.

Of course there are some bad apples in Croxteth, but as Rose was at pains to point out, the vast majority were decent, law abiding men, women and children who did not deserve the labels forced upon the area.

I bet when just a few weeks ago Rose was chosen as Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool – curtain-raiser to becoming Lord Mayor in 2011, she couldn’t believe her good fortune. Here she was, an ordinary Liverpool woman on the threshold of becoming the city’s first citizen – the highest honour Liverpool can bestow upon one of its own.

Not bad at all for a community worker who entered politics as she approached middle age. She stood for Labour in 1998, replacing retiring Labour Party colleague Ken Stewart. Rose took the seat with a narrow margin, but in subsequent elections she was the overwhelming victor – endorsement indeed from the community she loved.

Rose and her husband, John, travelled to Germany last week to see their son, daughter in law and newest grandchild

During her visit she suffered a fatal heart attack and her political colleagues, council staff and many in the Croxteth community remain devastated by the terrible news.

Rose was a regular visitor to the Labour Party offices at the Municipal Buildings and we often exchanged views on the city’s highs and lows as she strolled along Dale Street.

Liverpool has lost one of its finest councillors, Croxteth has lost one of its leading champions, but most importantly her family have lost a real treasure.

Tribute from the Leader of the Council - Councillor Joe Anderson
"We are all stunned by this news. It is particularly tragic as Rose was visiting her new grandchild and in those circumstances it is very hard to come to terms with.

"Rose was a tireless champion for the people of Liverpool and especially for the Croxteth area which she represented so well. Whenever there was any criticism of that area she was the first to defend it and the people of the area. She campaigned ceaselessly for better facilities, especially for the young people of the area.

"Her contribution to Liverpool civic and political life has been truly outstanding and could be matched by few people. Although she was a fiery advocate and stuck to her principles, she was highly regarded and respected right across the political divide."Rose was one of the most gifted, generous and warm-hearted people you could ever wish to meet. It was my privilege to be counted among her friends. She would have been a brilliant Lord Mayor and it is one of the major regrets that that office has now been denied her."Our thoughts are with her husband John and family at this very sad time."

Tribute from the Leader of the Opposition - Councillor Warren Bradley
"I am deeply shocked and saddened by Rose's sudden and untimely death. Rose was a councillor who commanded respect across the council chamber and was clearly held in high esteem by her constituents. Although Rose and I may have had political differences, away from the humdrum of the Town Hall, we had a friendly and humorous relationship. As Deputy Lord Mayor she was very proud to represent her city - something she did with great distinction; Rose will be very sadly missed."

Tribute from the Lord Mayor - Councillor Hazel Williams
"I'm absolutely devastated and my sympathies obviously go out to her family. I was only talking to Rose the other week about working together over the next year and she was talking about how much she was really looking forward to being Lord Mayor. Liverpool has lost a damn good councillor and the constituents of her ward have lost a good friend and champion - she valued her work with residents above everything else."

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StephanieTillJuly 14th 2010.

A true community champion, if you cut Rose she would have bled Croxteth, she lived and breathed it.When somewhere has to fight for everything, like Croxteth often does, it was good to know she was always in our corner fighting with us, not always winning, but taking some of the punches (and throwing some) on our behalf.I will miss her immensely, my friend and mentor. A lovely tribute to her, thank you.

Croxteth ResidentJuly 14th 2010.

Goodbye Rose, you have been a tower of strength in Croxteth and you will be missed by many of us. RIP

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