Former Haringey Council leader dies aged 71

The former leader of Haringey Council, who served as a councillor for more than 40 years, has died today aged 71 following a short illness.

Cllr Meehan was first elected as a Labour Party ward councillor in 1971, initially serving until 1986.

He was re-elected as a Woodside ward councillor in 1990, where he continued to serve as a councillor until his death today.

Cllr Meehan had lived in the borough with his wife Mary since moving to London from Co Donegal, Ireland in 1963.

He served as council leader three times, from 1983 to 1985; 1999 to 2004 and from 2006 until 2008.

He was also deputy leader between 1978 and 1979 and from 1996 to 1999, and served as a school governor in a number of local schools.

During his leadership, he oversaw the opening of state-of-the-art new community school Heartlands High and brought significant Building Schools for the Future funding to Haringey.

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Haringey Council leader Cllr Claire Kober said: “George was a formidable character who made a lasting impression on all he met.

“Never afraid to speak his mind, to challenge social injustice where he found it and to champion the needs and the rights of Haringey’s communities, George was a man of firm principle and unflinching devotion to public service.

“As leader, his achievements in improving schools in Haringey and driving forward the local BSF programme undoubtedly laid the foundations for the exceptional education that Haringey’s students enjoy today.

“Our thoughts are with Mary, her and George’s children Martin and Michael and all his friends and family at this very difficult time.”

As a mark of respect, a flag will be lowered to half mast at Haringey’s Civic Centre in Wood Green High Road from tomorrow.

Funeral arrangements will be confirmed in due course.