Tributes paid to former Mayor of Barnet and Councillor for 40 years, Cllr Melvin Cohen


Former Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Melvin Cohen

Former Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Melvin Cohen

Tributes paid to former Mayor of Barnet and Councillor for 40 years, Cllr Melvin Cohen

Cllr Alison Moore, The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, has led tributes to Cllr Melvin Cohen, councillor for Golders Green ward and the former Mayor of Barnet, who passed away yesterday (13 December).

First elected to represent the Golders Green ward in 1982, Cllr Cohen gave four decades of public service, memorably serving as Mayor in 2003/04 and again in 2013/14. 

Cllr Cohen was honoured for his 40 years of service to the borough of Barnet at the Annual Council meeting on 24 May 2022.

He served on various planning committees, serving as a Cabinet Member for Planning from 2004 to 2010, he also served as the Chairman of the Constitution & General Purposes Committee.

The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Alison Moore, said: “I am very saddened to hear the news of the passing of my colleague Cllr Melvin Cohen.

“Melvin was a fantastic, dedicated servant to the residents of his ward and to Barnet, twice representing the borough as Mayor, which I think really shows the measure of the esteem in which he was held.

“He was rightly recognised for his incredible record of 40 years working as a councillor this past May.  

“I would like to send my deepest sympathies to his family, friends and all who knew him.”

Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Daniel Thomas, said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Melvin Cohen, who served Golders Green diligently for 40 years. Only a few months ago, I was pleased to see Melvin receive special commendation from the Mayor for his long public service.  

“Melvin served this borough with quiet determination and he never shied away from challenging and complex issues.  Planning was one such issue and he smoothly ushered in a new Local Plan during his time as Cabinet Member for Planning.  

“A solicitor by profession, Melvin could always be relied on to give sound advice on legal, constitutional and procedural matters.  

“Melvin was held in high regard by colleagues, who twice nominated him for Mayor, a rare honour.  Having served with him for 16 years, I came to realise that every council needs a Melvin. 

“Melvin’s sons, Justin and Dean, and his many grandchildren were a source of strength as he battled ill health. His patience and calmness stayed with him until the end.  Our thoughts are with Melvin’s family.”

Barnet Council Leader and Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said:

"I am very saddened to hear about the passing of Cllr Melvin Cohen, who I have known, admired and worked with for over 24 years.

"Although we were in different political parties, I enjoyed working with Melvin whose calm and reasonable demeanour, forensic mind, and wish to do his best for residents was an example to us all.

"He has served the people of Golders Green and Barnet for 40 years and will be sorely missed.

"On behalf of the council and the Labour Group, I send condolences to Melvin's family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

Cllr Cohen lived in Barnet for most of his life and was educated at Wessex Gardens Primary School and Hasmonean Grammar school before attending University College London.

He is survived by his two sons one of whom, Cllr Dean Cohen, is also a councillor in Golders Green.

Cllr Cohen being recognised for 40 years of continual service

Cllr Cohen being recognised for 40 years of continual service