We are sad to share the news of the sudden death last week of Bob Baker, a former chairman of Hambleton District Council and former North Yorkshire County Council councillor, and long-standing member of our Association.
Bob a farmer and land agent, from Thornton le Beans, near Northallerton, gave over 30 years to public service and was committed to the Conservative Party. He was originally elected to Hambleton District Council in May 1999 as Conservative member for the Bagby and Thorntons ward, later serving as chairman of the authority. He was also NYCC councillor for Sowerby Division for many years. He recently sat on the Association's Executive Council.
His wife Alyson is currently North Yorkshire councillor for the Hillside and Raskelf division.
Former leader of HDC Mark Robson said he and Bob both stood for election in 1999 for HDC: "Bob and I were both elected to Hambleton at that election, with Bob becoming chairman of the authority at the same time as I became Conservative leader in 2013. He was also county councillor for Sowerby. This is absolutely devastating news, it is terrible for us, his friends and colleagues and for the family. Bob was a wonderful man, he was always there, he always leant an ear to what was going on and was a great support for the area. He worked really hard for the residents he represented and was dedicated to helping people. His death is a great loss and a great sadness.”
Leader of North Yorkshire Council, Cllr Carl Les said: “Bob was a longstanding district and county councillor. As a former farmer himself, and working in the countryside, his contributions to discussion and debate on rural affairs was extremely invaluable. He was also one of life’s really nice people and it was a privilege for all of us to be his friends. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts and condolences are with his family."
Bob had a close connection with Northallerton Rugby Club, playing in the front row in the first Colts side in the early 70s and then progressing into the seniors. He started a family tradition of playing in the front row with his sons Jonny and David following in his footsteps. He gave over half a century to the service of the club as player, club director, committee member and club chairman, always wearing the Northallerton badge with pride and was a great ambassador for the club
We send our deepest condolences to Bob’s family - Alyson, Catherine, Jonny and David. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.