Tributes paid to councillor Les

Les Denton
Les Denton

A FORMER Scarborough bus driver and councillor has died at the age of 83.

Les Denton was perhaps best known in the town for his local government involvement in the 1980s and 1990s.

He grabbed the Scarborough Castle ward seat for Labour from the Tories in November 1990, polling more than a third of the vote.

Barnsley-born Mr Denton received 606 votes ahead of fisherman and independent candidate Fred Normandale, who got 312 votes.

He also ran for county council and campaigned on various issues, such as cheaper bus fares for Scarborough pensioners and the introduction of safety measures on Valley Bridge.

Mr Denton was also opposed to Government plans to sell off the electricity and water industries and was strongly against increases in prescription charges.

He was a member of the South Cliff Recreational Club, the Keep Scarborough Tidy Group and was a trustee of the United Social Club.

Mr Denton went to sea with the merchant navy at the age of 16 and later settled in Scarborough because he could not bear the thought of returning inland to live.

He moved to Australia with his wife Mavis and daughter Beverley in 1968 where he worked as a personnel officer at the John Deere tractor factory.

The family returned to this country in 1973.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Mr Denton worked as a bus driver for United and before that with the West Yorkshire bus company.

His daughter, Beverley Matthewman, said it was a job he enjoyed as he was a very outgoing and sociable person.

It was through his involvement in the Transport and General Workers’ Union that he came to be interested in local government.

Mrs Matthewman, who lives in Gairloch, in the West Highlands of Scotland, said: “He just wanted to be able to help people.

“If anybody came to him with a problem he’d fight tooth and nail for justice for them. He was very passionate about it.”

In his free time she adds that her father enjoyed going for a pint, socialising and playing snooker. He also enjoyed spending time at the harbour, as he used to have a small boat.

Paying tribute to her father, Mrs Matthewman said: “He was a loving, kind dad and he loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“He could have a good laugh and he really cared about people. He wanted to make a difference.”

l A funeral service will be held tomorrow at 12.40pm at Woodlands Crematorium followed by a burial in Woodlands Cemetery.