Political giant dies aged 85

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A POPULAR Eastwood councillor described as ‘an absolute giant in politics’ has died aged 85.

Sir Dennis Pettitt represented Eastwood on both Nottinghamshire County Council and Broxtowe Borough Council and was an Eastwood town councillor.

Over 20 years in post, he was the longest ever serving leader of the county council and was knighted in 1997 for his dedicaiton to helping the disabled.

Eastwood councillor Milan Radulovic used to work as Sir Dennis’s election agent and knew him well for over 30 years.

He said: “He was an absolute giant in politics both locally and nationally.

“He was a politician of national significance who campaigned and championed the cause of working people throughout his career. He was highly respected in Whitehall and was absolutely aware of the need to support the European ideals.

“I was always immensely proud of his ability to represent people for first hand experience.

“He always fought for the best facilities in Eastwood.”

The dedicated politician had a daughter who suffered Spina Bifida and he tirelessly campaigned for better facilities for the disabled in both Nottinghamshire and Birmingham, where he lived and worked as a councillor in the 60s.

After moving from Birmingham to Nottingham in 1973, he was elected on to Broxtowe Borough Council, where he also served as council leader for several years.

He was elected on to the county council serving the Eastwood and Brinsley ward in 1977 and did not lose an election until he retired in 2001. He was leader between 1981 and 2001.

Among his achievements were leading the county council through the miners’ strike and bringing the Robin Hood Line to fruition.

Sir Dennis was life-president of Eastwood People’s Initiative and was chairman of Eastwood Town Football Club, Eastwood Cricket Club and the Scargill Walk centre.

He lived in Scalby Close and leaves wife, Lady Dorothy Pettitt, daughter Jocelyn and sons Nicholas and Robert.