As you are almost certainly aware, Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Darren Cooper died suddenly on Saturday 26 March, aged 52.
His passing came as a terrible shock to everyone who knew him. Thousands of people who didn’t know him personally benefited from the good work he did for our borough, always carried out with kindness and enthusiasm.
Born and raised in Smethwick, Darren was first elected to Sandwell Council in 1991, representing the Soho and Victoria Ward. He led our authority from 2009. Not everyone knows that Darren had also had a long career as a mental health nurse.
Tributes to Darren have come from far and wide: from colleagues and politicians, and from members of our community whose lives he touched. The Express & Star has rounded up many of the tributes here.
At Think Sandwell we’re especially grateful for Darren’s unwavering commitment to our region’s businesses. He was a passionate advocate for the talent and innovation we have here in Sandwell, most recently being highly supportive of our newBusiness Ambassadors programme.
Jan Britton, CEO of Sandwell Council said: “As a council, we will pull together and continue to carry forward the shared vision and plans we have in place. This will be the best memorial of all to our leader and friend, Darren Cooper.”
We couldn’t agree more.
A civic memorial event to celebrate the life and achievements of Councillor Cooper will be held on Friday 22 April – colleagues and representatives from organisations who worked closely with him will be invited to the event by the council.