Man who worked to get the best for Daventry passes away

Mr Fletcher laying the foundations for Bishops Court
Mr Fletcher laying the foundations for Bishops Court

A businessman and former councillor who tried to enhance Daventry while protecting its history has died.

Michael ‘Mike’ Frederick Fletcher died peacefully at home in Daventry on March 14 aged 67.

Mike Fletcher, centre, when Daventry Town Council launched its report examining DDC's idea for driverless pods in Daventry

Mike Fletcher, centre, when Daventry Town Council launched its report examining DDC's idea for driverless pods in Daventry

As a business man, in 1998 Mike transformed a town centre disused yard and overgrown garden into the Bishops Court retail area, a vibrant shopping venue for which he received an accolade for “providing an outstanding contribution to the town”.

He was elected as independent town councillor in 2003 with his manifesto being to have a “clear vision expressed by local voices, free from party politics” and for decisions affecting Daventry to be made by Daventry people.

He was among a group of town councillors who successfully campaigned for a disused area of land on Drayton to retain its designation as statutory allotments, allowing Daventry Town Council to open the site up for use by residents once more.

Mike was founder of FODOS (the Friends of Daventry Open Spaces), a campaign group created to try and preserve Daventry’s green open spaces and parks.

In 2010 he helped organise a parish poll referendum for the people of Daventry to give their views on the marina/canal proposals for Eastern Way. The result was a resounding vote against the proposals, although the poll had no power to force any council to change its mind.

Two years later in 2012 following relentless campaigning by FODOS, and with the support of local residents, a substantial area of the Eastern Way playing fields achieved ‘village green’ status, the highest protection in law against development on the land.

In a statement his family said: “Mike drew to the attention of the people of Daventry, proposals of the Daventry District Council for the future of the town.

“He inspired confidence in people, whether it be through the Gusher, referenda or public consultation, to voice their opinions on local issues such as the pods, canal/marina, green open spaces, the outdoor swimming pool and the allotments. Mike cared deeply about the people of Daventry, was always quick to act, brave and relentless in pursuit of raising awareness of matters of public interest.

“In his personal life, Mike enjoyed travelling, sailing and DIY.”

Mike will be sadly missed by his wife Anita and his 3 children, Pascaline, Yasmine and Marius.