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Wokingham Without Parish Council joins Crowthorne Parish Council and Bracknell Forest Council in sharing the following tribute to Jim Finnie:

photograph of Jim Finnie wearing mayoral chain

It is with great fondness that Bracknell Forest Council remembers the life and contribution of James (Jim) Finnie – a Freeman of the Borough, former long-serving councillor and former Mayor – who very sadly died on 2 January at the age of 83.

Jim Finnie was first elected in 1976 to the ward of Crowthorne and Easthampstead which changed to Crowthorne in 1986. He had previously been elected to Crowthorne Parish Council in 1975. On 13 July, 2016 at the full Council meeting, Cllr Finnie’s long service of 40 years and dedication to the community was officially recognised.
He stood down as a borough and parish Councillor at the May 2019 elections after 43 years of service.

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said: “Yesterday we received news of the sad passing of Jim Finnie, Freeman of the Borough, past Mayor, former Conservative borough council colleague and Crowthorne Parish councillor, who sadly died on Saturday.
“Jim was very well-known within the community having served over many decades in a huge variety of community positions, he was a true community stalwart who worked selflessly for local people right up to the end of his life. He was an incredible character who will truly be missed. Our thoughts and condolences are with his friends and family at this sad time. I know that many people will want to pay their respects, anyone who wishes to share memories, reflections and tributes can be do so via the online book of remembrance.”

During Jim Finnie’s long service he was made Mayor of Bracknell Forest Borough Council in May 1997 and remained in post until 2000. He raised money for three worthy charities during his time as Mayor – Local Multiple Sclerosis (1997-1998), British Heart Foundation (1998-1999) and The Lewis Marsh Fund (1999-2000)

In May 2000 he was awarded the honour of becoming Freeman of the Borough. Also, in 2005, he became the Voluntary Sector Champion for Bracknell Forest. When asked in 2010 what was the most rewarding thing about being a councillor, he said: “Helping people in many ways and trying to overcome bureaucracy. Seeing the wonderful contributions the volunteers make to the community life of our borough.”

During his time as a Councillor, Jim Finnie was vice chairman of the following committees:
Development (1993-94)
Parish Council Standards Sub (2002-03)
Standards Committee (2002-11)
Crowthorne Enterprise Centre Advisory Group (2005-2014)
From 2004 until 2007 he was vice chairman of the Edgbarrow and Sandhurst Sports Centre Management Committee and then took over as chairman, from 2007 until 2011.
Between 2003 and 2014 he was also vice chairman of the Access Advisory Panel and for a further year until 2015 when it became the Bracknell Forest Access Group.
From 2003, Cllr Finnie was on the Appeals Committee as chairman. He was vice chairman of the Environment and Leisure Overview & Scrutiny Panel from 2007 for two years and went on to become chairman of the panel when it became Environment, Culture & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Panel (in 2008) from 2009-15. In addition, he was chairman of the Environment Portfolio Review Group between 2014-15.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the funeral service will take place online at 10.30am on Friday, 15 January.
If you would like to attend the virtual service, please contact: committee@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

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