Portsmouth pathway named after '˜amazing' council officer at emotional ceremony

EMOTIONAL tributes were paid to a council officer after a pathway named after him was unveiled.

Monday, 2nd October 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 3:36 pm
(left to right) Wife of the late Michael Robinson, Sue Robinson and daughters Shannon Robinson and Georgia Robinson take a few moments on the new bench

Michael Robinson was said to have ‘touched the lives of so many’ while he was parking operations manager at the city council for the past 11 years.

People gathered to pay tribute to the 57-year-old after he died on June 2 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The ‘amazing’ man was known across the council for his straight-talking style of dealing with parking issues.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

To pay tribute to his work at the council, it was decided to name the pathway between South Parade and Clarence Esplanade in Southsea as Michael Robinson Way.

Sue Robinson, his wife, was at the unveiling on Friday with their daughters Shannon and Georgia.

Sue said: ‘It is lovely that the work he did will be remembered forever in this way. It will act as a symbol to the commitment of the work he gave to the city.’

Two road signs were installed at the pathway, in addition to a memorial bench next to the gardens by South Parade.

At the ceremony his sister Mandy Finlay said: ‘Michael was humbled beyond measure about the pathway.

‘He was a man with such passion about the city of Portsmouth and hopefully this bench will give people a minute’s pause when passing by or sitting on it.’

Councillor Ken Ellcome, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and a long-term friend of Michael’s, reflected on his relationship the council officer.

Cllr Ellcome hired Michael back in 2006 when he was parking operations manager.

‘For some reason, there was something special about him that we thought would add to the parking team,’ he said.

‘He was a real one-off and touched the lives of so many people. I value the time I spent with him and the world is quieter without him.’

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the city council, said in her tribute that despite his difficult job, he ‘let nothing faze him’ and that he was one of the city’s ‘prodigal’ sons.

Speaking at the ceremony she told the large crowd: ‘When I spoke to him about the concept of Michael Robinson Way, he was honoured and said he did not deserve it.

‘I am delighted he knew that he would be commemorated in this way.’