Local Party News

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Michael Crapper

By David Fearn

I have to report the sad news that our friend and fellow Lib Dem, Michael Crapper, died on Sunday 22 October, 2023.

I first met Michael when he was elected as the youngest member on the District Council, representing the St Giles Ward in Matlock. He was, you might say, a protegee of Matlock's well know Liberal, the late Peggy Edwards who was elected to both the District and County Council. Being a natural politician through and through, Peggy recognised on Michael someone of similar talent and just like her, he loved the cut and thrust of politics far more than I did.

Once he joined the Council I was immediately struck how confident and assured young Michael was whenever he got to his feet at Council meetings. I found that what was most impressive about Michael was his ability to read sometimes very complex officer reports and quickly identify the key issues that needed addressing. Added to that, he had a natural politician's ability to think on his feet in any debate and people always listened to him. He was capable of deflating the most pompous of opponents with humour and intelligence whenever he was challenged.

He would, I believe, have made an excellent Parliamentary candidate but that was not to be. Eventually he had increasing responsibilities in running and growing the family business which sadly meant he didn't have time to continue as a district councillor. Later he went on to form his own business which meant moving away from Matlock entirely. However Sandra and I kept in touch with him and were delighted when he decided to move back to the area. He never lost his devotion to our cause and subsequently was elected to our Liberal Democrat controlled Matlock Town Council where his experience and common sense I know proved invaluable.

One final thing I have to mention was his marriage to his devoted wife Helen. She was without doubt the love of his life. Over the last few months of Michael's life she nursed him through a very cruel illness. She has been his angel and our sympathy goes out to here and the family at this difficult time.