A VETERAN councillor who oversaw the borough’s initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic has died.

Described as “warm and thoughtful” by his colleagues, Nick Cope, who served as mayor of Colchester from 2019 to 2020, died of natural causes on Monday.

Serving on the council’s licensing committee at the time of his death, Mr Cope, who was born in 1949, dedicated 28 years of his life to Colchester, having represented New Town and Christ Church ward since 1994.

His mayoral year was memorable for lasting almost 18 months instead of the usual 12 months, due to the pandemic.

Having been due to finish in May 2020 and at a time when most mayors would be preparing for the end of their mayoralty, he was asked to stay on until October and oversaw the initial civic response to the pandemic.

Gazette: Service - Nick Cope with his wife, Liz, on the Colchester Town Hall balconyService - Nick Cope with his wife, Liz, on the Colchester Town Hall balcony

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Mr Cope’s death was confirmed in a poignant joint statement issued by Colchester mayor Robert Davidson and Colchester Council leader Paul Dundas.

It read: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of Colchester Council member and former mayor, councillor Nick Cope.

“Our sympathies go out to Nick’s wife, Liz, who served as his mayoress, their family and friends at this very difficult time. We are thinking of them and will be providing any support that we can.

“Nick’s warm and thoughtful personality made him a dedicated and respected councillor. He had a proud record of standing up for his community and championing environmental causes.


“The borough owes him a huge debt of gratitude.”

As part of his mayoral year, Mr Cope also signed a bond of friendship with the Dutch district of Renkum, where soldiers landed and made their final stand during the Battle of Arnhem.

Colchester High Steward Sir Bob Russell added: “Nick and I were friends and colleagues for more than 25 years.

“He had a lovely sense of humour. He was great company and was held in great respect.

“His passing is a sad loss not only to his family but to Colchester, which he served with such pride for many years. He will be missed.”