THE MEMORY of much-respected former Redbridge council leader Keith Axon will live on in the borough with the unveiling of a memorial seat.

Ilford Town Hall is a fitting site for the seat as it was the centre of Cllr Axon's extensive and dedicated career, which spanned almost 29 years, from 1974 to 2003.

The popular councillor died after a short illness in January last year, having achieved his ambition to become leader of Redbridge Council just months before.

Unveiling the commemorative seat last Wednesday was his widow, Helen, in the company of Redbridge Mayor Cllr Vanessa Cole and Cllr Axon's many friends and colleagues, as well as residents.

Mrs Axon said: "Keith spent a major part of his life in the town hall so a seat outside this building is very appropriate.

"Keith got on well with everyone, whatever their political background, and he is greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

"The seat is a lasting tribute to my husband's memory and the dedication he had to Redbridge Council. I hope that people will cherish the seat as much as I will."

The former council leader dedicated almost 29 years of his life to Redbridge, serving the people and communities with his wife Helen by his side.

Elected to represent Loxford ward in 1974 and again in 1978, he went on to represent Barkingside ward from 1982, where he lived with Helen from 1974 until his death.

Cabinet member for highways and the environment Cllr Alan Weinberg said of his late colleague: "Keith loved the borough of Redbridge and gave so much of his time in the town hall. This seat is a truly fitting tribute to a great man."

The seat is made of recycled plastic and is just one of 13 seats being funded from the Ilford Town Centre Improvement Fund.

A lasting tribute to a much-respected leader of Redbridge Council Helen Axon is pictured on her husband's memorial bench with Redbridge Mayor Cllr Vanessa Cole