I am very sorry to report that Alderman Michael Cartwright, former Mayor and Deputy Leader of the Council, died peacefully this morning after a long illness.
Mike was first elected as a Member of the Council in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in 1992 following a by-election in Hammersmith Broadway. He held that post for 26 years being returned by the residents by the Hammersmith Broadway ward as their elected representative at another six elections – only stepping down at the 2018 council elections because of illness.
Throughout his time as an elected representative Mike consistently stood out as a diligent public servant.
As Deputy Leader of the Council from 2014, Mike helped steer the direction of our borough at a critical time and took bold measures to improve things for residents such as leading the Administration to introduce the largest number of council funded police in the borough’s history.
While chair of the Association of London Government’s (now London Councils) Transport and Environment Committee, Mike was key to saving and expanding the London Freedom Pass.
Mike was also a local magistrate for 13 years becoming Chair of the Bench. He was instrumental in a series of measures that improved how the court supported women dealing with the nightmare and trauma of domestic violence.
Mike was a governor of two schools in the borough from 1992 – Sacred Heart School, and Larmenier and Sacred Heart Primary School. He chaired the Mortlake Crematorium Board for 9 years. He served on the Western Riverside Waste Authority. Prior to his time in our borough, he was a councillor in Ipswich and Suffolk – first elected when he was just 23 years old.
Mike served on the Planning Committee nearly all his time as councillor. As a chartered surveyor he was an expert. That combined with his experience to make him a formidable force for good on that committee.
Mike finished his time on Hammersmith & Fulham Council as the Mayor – a role he took to with grace.
Mike Cartwright was a giant in the public life of our borough for three decades. He deployed his considerable skills for the betterment of other people’s lives throughout his life and made a huge contribution to our borough.
He dedicated his life to public service.
Such was his stature, in 2019 Mike was given the extraordinary honour of Freedom of the Borough and was made an Alderman following a unanimous vote of thanks by all the borough’s councillors – something which I know meant a lot to him.
Mike was a dear friend. I will miss Mike’s good humour, his story telling, his wit, his wisdom, his kindnesses and his friendship. He was a lovely human being.