Tributes paid to Cllr Arthur Steel, who died on New Year’s Day

The Kenton ward councillor was ‘a true gentleman’

Colleagues have paid tribute to a ‘well loved and respected’ councillor who died on New Year’s Day after losing his battle with cancer.

Arthur Steel served as the Conservative councillor for Kenton on Brent Council for more than 25 years.

Close friend and former colleague Reg Colwill, who knew Cllr Steel for more than 25 years, said: “Arthur was a terrific ward councillor and a great protector for the rights of the people of Brent, particularly those in the Kenton area.

“More than that, he was an incredibly close friend, we lived in the same street and our children grew up together.

“In all that time we never had a row – although we had some good debates, and he certainly had a strong mind.

“He was a very principled man and while he had strong opinions he was always respectful of others. He was a true gentleman, the grandfather of the council.”

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Mr Arthur Steel had a successful career as a photo journalist for the Daily Express before moving into politics.

His career took him across the world, including to Italy, where he met his wife Alda, who he had three children with.

He was elected to Brent Council in 1974 and served as Mayor of Brent in 1993/4. In a poignant twist of fate one of his chosen charities during his tenure was St Luke’s hospice in Kenton Grange – where he was cared for during his final weeks.

He lived in Draycott Avenue with his family for the next 30 years, and was a passionate football fan and avid chess player.

Cllr Colwill, deputy leader of the Conservative group in Brent Council, said the love and support Alda gave Arthur was a constant source of strength to him.

“It wasn’t just one person you got with Arthur you got his wonderful wife as well.

“She joined us in epic envelope stuffing sessions and helped us deliver leaflets.

“He will be sorely missed both for his friendship and his experience as a ward councillor, which always kept me in good stead.”

Cllr Arthur Steel died from prostrate cancer on New Year’s Day in St Luke’s Hospice. He was 74.

He is survived by his wife Alda, his children Robert, Michael and Teresa, and his eight grandchildren.

A by-election will take place in March.