Tribute to former Ely mayor John Yates, and chairman of Cambridgeshire Acre, who died over the weekend

Cllr John Yates (second left) at the annual Christmas dinner for City of Ely councillors in December

Cllr John Yates (second left) at the annual Christmas dinner for City of Ely councillors in Decemberl. The event took place at the Riverside Bar and Kitchen. Picture: ELY STANDARD - Credit: Archant

The death has been announced of a former Mayor of Ely, Councillor John Yates.

Charter Night - John Yates and Linda Neate

Charter Night - John Yates and Linda Neate - Credit: Archant

Mayor Mike Rouse said: “Despite his recent serious health problems John was at our full council meeting last Monday.

“He did a huge amount for Ely and I for one will miss his wise counsel and willingness to help in so many ways.”

Cllr Rouse added: “He was a good man, a wise and hard working councillor who served the city so well over the years. He was a very active Rotarian and worked enthusiastically on so many community events. We will all miss him.

Cllr Yates was born in Blackburn and has lived in the Ely area for many years.

He moved to area in 1986 when he became regional planning and estate manager for the then East Anglian Regional Health Authority, based in Cambridge.

On leaving school in 1962 he joined the NHS as an administration trainee starting at Bradford Royal Infirmary and subsequently worked in differing capacity at several hospitals in West and South Yorkshire.

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He married his wife Helen in 1970 when she was a secretary at Montagu Hospital, Mexborough near Rotherham.

They went on to live in Sheffield, Ripon and in Wicken, in the Fens.

Although basically within the NHS, his career has been varied from being responsible for the planning and procurement of new hospitals and facilities to the disposal of redundant land and buildings.

He was also responsible as a member of a small team for the introduction of private finance into the NHS. For some six years he worked as an independent consultant back into the NHS, advising NHS Trusts on a variety of planning and capital development matters.

In 2001, he was invited to re-join the public sector as a civil servant, working at the Department of Health with an initial specific responsibility to assist NHS staff find affordable accommodation as an aide to recruitment and retention.

The role was subsequently extended to assist the police and the probation service and a close working relationship with the education sector was essential as well as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasury.

He also had the opportunity to work across Government as well as working directly to senior Government ministers.

He retired in March 2006 and among other roles he has been chairman of Cambridgeshire ACRE and a church warden at St Peter’s Church in Ely.