Today I wrote to the family of John Foley on behalf of all my colleagues in Liverpool to say how saddened we are at his death. He was a man full of warmth, vitality and honour. He passionately believed in challenging the powers that be and seeking justice for those who he thought were poorly treated.
I first met him after the City Council bungled the reopening of the St John’s Market and worked with him closely when the Council, having learned nothing bungled the reopening as well!
He carefully orchestrated a campaign in the early days when the Council were trying to charge sky high rents for premises that were not fit for purpose. Interestingly he always took a back seat seeking to promote the views of others such as Colin Laphan as the public face of the Traders and Cllr Juarez and I in their support. The Mayor of Liverpool turned up and promised to do works to the Market (still not complete by the way) and not charge rent or service charge in the meantime.
Having secured the Market, he went in to his next campaign, ridding Liverpool of the Kingdom enforcement company. He was assiduous in following up and interviewing people who had been badly used by this company and I have no doubts that it is largely thanks to his efforts that The Mayor again capitulated and broke the Kingdom contract.
I didn’t agree with him on every campaign he followed. I really don’t that that 5G is as bad as he thought it was! On his behalf I challenged the scientific certainties and when I found proof that 5G is not harmful I explained that I couldn’t support him on this one. I noticed that he stopped campaigning on that issue soon after.
We came back together However, on the way that the way that the Market Traders were treated post Covid. There was no explanation of why the Market was so slow to reopen. There was no way that the traders could have afforded full rents on the stalls given the low number of people in town. Again, he organised the campaign, got the banners out and took to the air waves enlisting Cllr Kris Brown and I in to support them.
His last campaign was to save Millvana and Brushwood Homes. I am so pleased that before he died he saw that once again his work with countless others was so successful and that the homes would stay open.
If I believed in an after life I could well imagine that the first person I would meet on the other side would be John Foley with his video camera saying, “what do you think of this Councillor!”
My thoughts will be with all his family in the difficult weeks ahead. I am sure that they will be comforted by the many people who will simply tell them, as I do, that their Dad was just ‘One of The Best’.
Liverpool has lost a great son who was not afraid to talk truth to power. He was unassuming but determined. If he believed something, he fought for it. Whether you were on his side or in his targets you could not help but respect this man of honour, compassion and integrity.