Tributes to 'Mr Housing' who served on council for 31 years

George Shaw as mayor

Tributes have been paid to a former councillor at Barking and Dagenham Council who has died aged 94. - Credit: LBBD

Tributes have been paid to a former councillor affectionately known as 'Mr Housing', who has died at the age of 94.

George Shaw was mayor of Barking and Dagenham from 1985-86, accepted the freedom of the borough in 1992 and served 31 years at the town hall.

Friend and former colleague, Bill Jennings, said in tribute: “It was my good fortune to have known George Shaw since the 1970s.

"George was extremely passionate about Barking and Dagenham and particularly about housing within the borough.

"George's passing is a very sad moment for the borough."


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Mr Shaw was born in Poplar during the General Strike of 1926. He moved to Barking with his family at the age of four and studied at Roding and Erkenwald schools. For 35 years he worked for a multi-national manufacturer.

A member of the Labour Party, Mr Shaw held posts of ward chairman, membership secretary and election campaign organiser.

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An early riser on polling days, he would drive his Ford Cortina around the Thames View estate encouraging people to vote via loud speaker.

He was first elected to the council in a by-election for Gascoigne in 1971 when the ward straddled the A13 and included the Thames View Estate where he lived with his family.

In 1978, he was elected to the newly created Thames ward which he served until he retired as a councillor in 2002.

Mr Shaw is best remembered for chairing the council's housing committee, a post he took up in 1986.

He remained in post until 2000 before being appointed executive member for housing, a role he kept until 2002.

During his time in office, Mr Shaw set up a group targeting run down estates.

He oversaw safety measures at tower blocks on the Castle Green estate, which included a concierge system and CCTV.

Mr Shaw and the housing committee also negotiated "barter deals" with building contractors, which resulted in two sheltered housing complexes.

One was named Catherine Godfrey House and the other was Kidd House. They were forerunners of future sheltered units in the borough.

The DIY enthusiast was also involved in the management of the City Farm on the Thames View estate.

Mr Shaw died on February 14. He leaves behind wife, Olive, children, Malcolm and Pam, and two grandchildren.

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