Former Corby Councillor Joe Sims dies

A former Corby councillor who helped shape the town after the steel works closure has died.

By Sarah Ward
Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 3:48 pm
Joe Sims served as a councillor from 1978 to 1995.
Joe Sims served as a councillor from 1978 to 1995.

Joe Sims, 83, who was a Labour councillor for the Lodge Park ward from 1978 to 1995, died on October 28 at the Glenmoor House Care Home in Rockingham Road.

A leading figure in the Labour administration, Mr Sims was a key member of the council at a time when the town was almost brought to its knees by the end of steelmaking in the town.

He lived a life of public service, becoming a bombardier in the Army and after leaving the Armed Forces he joined the management in the Corby steel and tube works.

He was awarded the British Empire Medal and was also a magistrate for many years.

His son David, who is a sitting Conservative councillor on the Corby authority, said he was proud of his father’s achievements.

He said: “He loved Corby and he wanted to help people and make a difference. He did a lot for the town.

“He was proud of his involvement in East Carlton Park. Because of his role at the steelworks he was able to get a lot of the old steelworks machinery that sits in the park today.

“He also planted a Blenheim oak in the park at the time when he was chairman.

“He was a big name in Corby in the 70s and 1980s. Sadly now a lot of his former colleagues have passed away.

“He got me interested in politics, although we often used to have a difference of opinion as I was right of centre and he was left of centre. It led to some interesting conversations.

“He was an amazing father and if I can achieve half of what he did, then I’ll be very proud.”

David said his dad also went against Labour policy in the 1980s to champion the creation of the then Brooke Weston City Techology College, now known as Brooke Weston Academy.

The school opened in 1991 and is now the most successful secondary school in Corby and one of the highest achieving in Northamptonshire.

Born in Glasgow, Joe came to Corby with his family when he was three. He attended Samuel Lloyds School and was married to Monica, who survives him.

The couple had three children and six grandchildren.

Leader of Corby Council Tom Beattie paid his tributes to the former councillor.

He said: “As a long-serving councillor, Joe Sims will be greatly missed by former colleagues and residents of the borough. Here at Corby Council, our thoughts are with fellow councillor David Sims and the rest of his family and friends at this sad time.”

The funeral is being held at Our Lady of Walsingham Church in Occupation Road at 9am on Friday, November 15. Corby Council will be flying the union flag at half mast that day in his honour.