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Tributes paid to campaigner Brian who had "deep sense of pride" for community

Tributes have been paid to community campaigner and champion Brian Gascoyne, who has passed away.

Mr Gascoyne was a well-known figure across the city, particularly for his willingness to challenge authority and not being afraid to speak his mind.

He was chairman of MANERP (Millfield and New England Regeneration Partnership) and organiser of the Holocaust Memorial Day, contributions which were recognised in the New Year's Honours List in 2017, when Mr Gascoyne was the recipient of the British Empire Medal for Services to Community Cohesion in Peterborough.

Mr Gascoyne, who lived in Yaxley and was a former landlord of several pubs in Peterborough, was also a prominent LGBT campaigner. He was previously editor of Out and About News as well as secretary of the Peterborough Hackney Carriages Driving Federation.

His background in Peterborough included work as a commis chef after leaving Eastholm School. He became a baker and carpet salesman before joining the Embassy Theatre to become a projectionist at the ABC Cinema.

He spent nearly twenty years representing cinema employees in unions such as BECTU and NATKE before setting up a taxi firm, and eventually moving on to running pubs.

Among his more recent achievements for Millfield and New England were driving through selective licensing for the area to improve the living standards within private rented properties, and recently he and fellow community figure Mohammed Saeed urged Peterborough City Council to continue to be stringent with regards to alcohol licensing in the area.

At the time of his BEM recognition he told ESP Magazine: "I'm not easily impressed, and as a former cinema projectionist I've seen it all, but I'm proud to be British and it does give you a very deep sense of pride.

"I believe if you're going to do something for the community you do it for the community and for nothing else, and that's what drives me." 

PCC chief executive Gillian Beasley said Mr Gascoyne "stood tall in every way in our city and who commanded respect from all quarters for what he achieved," while Paramedic Paparazzo Chris Porsz described him as "a funny and wise man who did so much for our city in fighting for justice, equality and against racism."