A WOKINGHAM town councillor who passed away ‘suddenly’ and ‘unexpectedly’ last night has been hailed as a ‘hero’ as tributes flood in for the Labour politician.

Councillor James Box, a representative for Wescott West ward, leaves behind his wife, Lynne, and two daughters.

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Writing on behalf of Wokingham Labour Party, group chair Andy Croy said: “Last night, our friend and comrade, Councillor James Box, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.

“He was loved and respected for who he was. Caring, principled, full of energy and with a zest for life that lifted those around him.

“The loss felt by Lynne and the children must be unbearable.

“James was a town councillor for Wescott West ward of Wokingham Town Council and was the first Labour councillor at any level to be elected in Wescott – a remarkable achievement.

“As a local party, we will also remember him for his boundless enthusiasm, energy and love of door knocking. There was no weather too foul or night too dark that would put James off in his insatiable drive to talk to – and listen to – residents.

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“It is a testament to his hard work, determination and drive to succeed that his election defied the national political swing that occurred the same day. He earned his place in council by sheer hard work. He was a hero to us.

“We were all so proud of James and his achievements. We hope his family can take a tiny crumb of comfort to know that we all held him such high regard.

“We also know that he loved and doted on his family and our thoughts are with them.”

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Reacting to news of his passing on social media, Liberal Democrats councillor Rachel Bishop-Firth said: “So very sorry to hear this. He was a great guy. Thinking of his family.”

Another commenter added: “Heartbroken for the loss of our friend and comrade, who did all he could to make the world a kinder, fairer place.”

The Wokingham Labour Party has opened up a book of remembrance on its website where people can leave messages in memory of James. 

The link to the book is here: https://www.wokinghamlabourparty.org/news/councillor-james-box/

Tim Lloyd, another Labour Wokingham Town councillor who represents Evendons West ward, wrote: "James Box will be sadly missed by all. As a fellow Town Councillor, he was passionate, committed and very hard working.

"As a fellow Labour Party member he was thoughtful and believed strongly that a better future is possible.

"He gave so much of his time to working towards this goal. As a person he was friendly, generous and had a great sense of humour. My thoughts are with his family who must be suffering terribly. So unfair"

James joined the Town Council in May 2019 as a Labour Councillor representing Wescott West. He was part of a new cohort of councillors who joined following that year's local elections.

As a mark of respect for James, a minute’s silence was held at the Amenities Committee meeting on 30th June and the House Flag was flown at half-mast on Wednesday 1st July.


Town Mayor Tony Lack added: "In the short time he was a Councillor James showed how much he cared for our community and wanted to make a difference through his role as a Councillor.

"He was enthusiastic and keen to work with all his colleagues and we will miss his contribution. A life cut too short and our thoughts and condolences go to all his family."

Abby Tebboth, Labour Group Leader WTC said:

"James was a dedicated friend and colleague, whose energy and enthusiasm to serve his residents was evident to all who knew him.

"His commitment and passion were truly remarkable, and we will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."