Councillor Duncan Fairbairn

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our friend and colleague, Duncan Fairbairn of Wigton, Cumbria.

Duncan died peacefully at home on 2nd October 2018 after a long battle with cancer.


Duncan Fairbairn obituary: Cumbria says farewell to a Stalwart of the Community 

Born in Darlington, the eldest son of a bank manager Mr and Mrs Stewart Fairbairn.  He attended Worksop College in Nottinghamshire.

In 1962 he joined the Northern Rhodesia Police where he completed a tour of duty.  A lover of sports he played for the police hockey team. 

He married Carolyn in 1969 moved to Cumbria to pursue a career in the financial sector.  He joined Spadadam Hockey Club which became Carlisle Hockey Club where he enjoyed many years as a player and umpire.  A lover of sports he was a season ticket holder at Carlisle United, member of Carlisle Squash Club, Wigton Rugby Club, honorary life member of the Cumberland Cricket Club and latterly curled at Lockerbie.

He was a blood donor for many years completing his 100th pint.

But he will be most remembered for his commitment to public service, firstly as a Parish Councillor for Hayton and thereafter Aikton Parish for 43 years.  A stalwart of Penrith and Boarder Conservative Party he stood as a County Councillor from 1977-1981.  In 2001 he was elected again and in 2003 became an Allerdale District Councillor too.  His tireless work on behalf of his constituents secured his seats for the rest of his life.  

During his time as a County Councillor he focused on children and young people, serving as the Portfolio Holder for Schools and Learning and thereafter as Chair of the Children scrutiny.  He was a Governor of West Cumbria Learning Centre and a member of the Cumbria School Games Local Organising Committee, and through this work, he contributed significant time and effort to ensure that the young people of Cumbria are offered a range of high-quality sporting opportunities.

He was Chair of West Cumbria Age UK from 2002-17, Vice-chair of Solway AONB for years and sat on many other committees too. 

A truly dedicated Councillor he asked the probing questions, always had a good knowledge of his target areas and was known by his peers to be firm but fair. 

He is survived by his wife Caro, three children Sheena, Leonie and Charlie and four grandchildren Alex, Sam, Ellie and Isla.

Duncan passed away peacefully at his home on 2nd October surrounded by his family.  A Memorial and Thanksgiving Service will take place on Friday 19th October at 2pm, St Andrews Church, Aikton, Wigton.

Instead of flowers the family request charity donations.  We have chosen two charities, please click on the links to donate.


From Rory Stewart MP
Duncan Fairbairn, a Tory through and through, was a driving force in local politics: a tireless councillor, a dedicated campaigner, and a thoughtful policy-maker. He was the conscience of the Wigton area, both in the town and in its rural surrounds; he  relentlessly pursued cases on behalf of his constituents, and worked incredibly hard both on the doorsteps of the communities who voted him in election after election, and in the chamber where he rigorously held to account the opposition. Never was this dedication more pronounced than during his illness - day in day out he pounded the doorsteps, checking I was wearing a blue tie, keeping us all energised and motivated. In the end he remained braver and more stoic than ever - his only concerns being about his successor, and the future of Conservatism in Cumbria. Duncan was an extraordinary example to us all." Rory Stewart MP

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