Tributes paid to councillor and former Buxton Fringe chair

Tributes have been paid to a High Peak councillor and stalwart of the Buxton community.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 9:16 am
Tributes have been paid to Keith Savage the former Buxton Festival Fringe chairman and borough councillor

Founder of Buxton Film, former chair of Buxton Fringe and serving High Peak Borough Councillor Keith Savage died suddenly at the weekend.

Keith, who was also an active member, and founder of many Buxton groups including the Broadwood Piano, has been remembered fondly by those who knew him.

Stephen Walker current chair of the Buxton Fringe said: "We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our former chair, Keith Savage.

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Former Buxton Fringe Festival chairman Keith Savage.

"Keith was chair of Buxton Fringe for six years culminating in the wonderful success of our Fringe40 celebrations in 2019. He was a kind and thoughtful man who gave so much to the fringe over many years, being generous with both his time and energy.

“Given his involvement in Buxton Film, Buxton Broadwood recitals, as a High Peak Borough Councillor, and in many other ways, Keith was central to the life of Buxton and will be missed enormously.”

Keith, who had a passion for the arts, leaves behind his wife Helen, and children Jess and Toby.

A spokesperson for Buxton Film said: “We are heartbroken by the tragic news our dear friend Keith has died suddenly.

"Many of you will remember his witty introductions to our screenings and many of you will have known what a lovely, kind and caring person he was.”

A Londoner and an avid Arsenal fan at heart, Keith found his permanent home in Buxton.

He was a member of Buxton Labour Party for more than 30 years and Councillor Fiona Sloman, Chair of the High Peak CLP Labour party said: “Keith’s untimely and unexpected death has come as a great shock to all who knew and loved him.

“Keith was kind, passionate and caring. His loss will leave a large gap on Buxton’s cultural and political life.

"Quiet and thoughtful, he knew his own mind and was never afraid to give his opinion and would argue his corner vigorously.”

Keith was first elected to High Peak Borough Council (HPBC) in 1995 serving the Cote Heath ward in Buxton. He went on to be elected as a councillor again in 2011 and 2019.

In his current term on HPBC he was appointed as the council’s arts champion - a role he took on with relish. The new High Peak wide arts forum is his latest legacy to the borough.

He was also the council’s representative on the board of High Peak Theatre Trust, which runs Buxton Opera House, and Connex Community Support.

Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader of the council, said: "Keith was committed heart and soul to the place he'd called home, including spending time in recent years as a guide on the Buxton Tram or supporting one of the many groups and organisations he worked with.

"He will leave behind a great legacy to the cultural life of Buxton and the borough.”

Councillor Sloman added: “Keith loved the town and in turn he was loved, and will be missed, by many people and communities around the town.”

Colin Sykes added: “I first met Keith when we were both members of the Buxton Opera House board.

"He worked tirelessly for the arts in Buxton - with Buxton Fringe, Buxton Film and more recently with a series of well-supported classical music concerts.

"He was understated, self-effacing but passionate in everything he was involved in.

" He was also a thoroughly decent man with a great sense of humour.

"He made a huge contribution to Buxton and my wife Janette and I will miss him enormously. Our thoughts go out to Helen and his family.”

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