Jeremy Corbyn writes:
I was sorry to hear of the passing of Wally Burgess, former Councillor and Islington North chair who died this week in an Islington care home. Wally was dedicated to working for the community, and never failed to notice those in need, particular those experiencing housing related pressures.
Wally and his wife Janet moved to Islington in 1988 and rapidly became very involved in the Islington North Labour party. For a time, Wally chaired the constituency party demonstrating immense skill, wit and erudition to get through what were often long and complicated meetings, and I found him an excellent person to work with.
Wally was first elected to the Council in 1998. However, in 2002, Islington’s worst election for Labour, Wally won in St George’s (Janet losing her seat). Wally was re-elected to St George’s ward in 2006 alongside Janet’s election to Junction ward, both the only Labour councillors in their respective wards.
As a Councillor Wally worked very hard in representing the ward, challenging the Council on (among other things) environment and recycling issues, and exposing the very embarrassing story in 2005 about Islington’s waste being dumped in Indonesia rather than being properly recycled in North London.
Wally had been the witty raconteur, and life and soul of the party. For a while Islington North Labour Party organised day trips to France and Wally and Janet joined in the frivolity therein. Wally was a warm and sociable character who enjoyed chatting to lots of members and the day trip and boat across the channel were wonderful moments that will be remembered by many of his friends and colleagues locally.
After he stepped down as a Councillor, Wally’s health sadly deteriorated and in later years he developed Alzheimer’s.
We must note our huge thanks for the contributions Wally made via his local community, and at Council level.
“I’m very sorry indeed to hear about the passing of the much loved former Islington councillor Wally Burgess. Wally was elected to Islington Council between 1998 and 2014 representing St George’s and then Canonbury wards.
Wally was always the life and soul of the party and was very popular with residents, councillors and council staff alike. My love and thoughts are with his wife Janet, who cared for Wally with such love and fortitude, and her family at this sad time.”