We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Cllr Bill Olner. Bill, 78 years old, died on 18 May at the George Elliot hospital in Nuneaton. Bill served on Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council for 21 years, becoming leader in 1982, a post he held for 5 years. In 1987 he served as mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth.
Notably, Bill served as Nuneaton’s Member of Parliament for 18 years between 1992 and 2010. In 2013, Bill joined Warwickshire County Council. At the time of his death he was Chair of the Council’s Regulatory Committee and a member of the Resources and Fire and Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
During his time at Warwickshire County Council, Bill played a pivotal role in shaping the Council as we know it today. A staunch advocate for the Transforming Nuneaton programme, Bill will be enormously missed by his fellow politicians – across all political groups – and most importantly of all, the communities he served in Nuneaton with such distinction for so many years.
Councillors from across the political parties have expressed their deep respect for Bill as a champion of his community, a wise voice on Council business and a man who embodied the spirit of Warwickshire. Our deepest condolences are sent to his family and loved ones, in particular his beloved wife, Gill.
Labour group leader, Cllr Richard Chattaway said:
‘We have lost one of Warwickshire’s finest. Bill was a great colleague, friend and servant of the people of Nuneaton and the Labour Party. Bill brought warmth, fairness, humour and decency to everything he did, and his passion for Nuneaton was manifest. His commitment and drive to champion the Mary Ann Evans hospice was second to none. Over very many years he made a huge difference to countless lives during his distinguished career as an MP, borough and county councillor.’
Council leader and Conservative group leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said:
‘I was very fond of Bill who was a very decent man and a wise politician. He got on with everyone and everyone respected him for his fairness and decency. Having had a brilliant career as MP for Nuneaton he was just as proud to be a representative for his Division on Warwickshire County Council, and contributed hugely to the county and to Nuneaton over very many years of dedicated service.’
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse said:
‘I will greatly miss Bill, who was a great champion for his area and community, my friend, an excellent colleague on the Council, and a wise voice who wanted the best for Warwickshire.’