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Tribute to James (Jim) Finnie

Image of a book of remembrance

It is with great fondness that we remember 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:

“Earlier this week 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 do so on our 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 3 worthy charities during his time as Mayor:

  • Local Multiple Sclerosis (1997 to 1998)
  • British Heart Foundation (1998 to 1999)
  • The Lewis Marsh Fund (1999 to 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 to 1994)
  • Parish Council Standards Sub (2002 to 2003)
  • Standards Committee (2002 to 2011)
  • Crowthorne Enterprise Centre Advisory Group (2005 to 2014)
  • Edgbarrow and Sandhurst Sports Centre Management Committee (2004 to 2007)
  • Access Advisory Panel (2003 to 2014) and for a further year until 2015 when it became the Bracknell Forest Access Group
  • Environment and Leisure Overview & Scrutiny Panel from 2007 to 2009

He was chairman of the following committees:

  • Edgbarrow and Sandhurst Sports Centre Management Committee (2007 to 2011)
  • Appeals Committee (2003)
  • Environment, Culture & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Panel (2009 to 2015)
  • Environment Portfolio Review Group between (2014 to 2015)

Funeral service

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the funeral service will take place online at 10:30am on Friday 15 January 2021.

If you would like to attend the virtual service, please email committee@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.