The longest serving councillor on Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Rose was the last founder Member of the authority still serving, dating back to Local Government Reorganisation in the early 1970s. He was Leader of the Conservative group for 45 years until 2019.
For most of that time he served as Leader or Deputy Leader of the Council, and the Union Flag at the District Council's Matlock Town Hall headquarters is flying at half mast as a mark of respect.
The Carsington Water ward councillor lived in Kniveton, where he was a member of the parish council for many years.
Originally elected to the old Ashbourne Rural District Council at the age of only 23 in 1971, Councillor Rose became a member of West Derbyshire District Council on its formation in 1974 and holds the distinction of proposing it be renamed Derbyshire Dales in 1988.
He followed his grandfather - also named Lewis Rose - into politics and between them they accumulated more than 100 years of public service.
Awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 1995 for his political and public service, Councillor Rose served on a vast number of organisations on behalf of the Derbyshire Dales, including the Local Government Association General Assembly, the District Councils’ Network, East Midlands Councils, Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Derby and Derbyshire Strategic Leadership Forum, Peak District Partnership and he was a board member of the Sheffield City Region.
Councillor Rose's successor as Council Leader, Councillor Garry Purdy said:
“This is a terribly sad day. The local government scene has lost a major player. Passionate in promoting the cause of small rural districts such as the Derbyshire Dales, for over 40 years Lewis was a force to be reckoned with, not only locally but also on the county, regional and national political scene.
“He was tireless in championing the Derbyshire Dales, fighting for its residents on the many different forums he served on and I cannot speak too highly of his dedication to public and political life."Leader of the District Council's Labour group, Councillor Mike Ratcliffe, said:
"Lewis was a politician of the 'old school', an effective adversary as well as a colleague. I knew him socially and in council; those who knew him were aware of his unfailing commitment to the residents of Derbyshire Dales, one that sometimes saw him criticising the Conservative governments of the day. His work on our behalf cannot be overestimated and I for one regret his passing. We cannot go back to those days but he should be an example to which we all aspire."Leader of the Council Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Steve Flitter said:
“The position of Council Leader is a massive task and it's because of Councillor Rose's exemplary handling of that role over many years that we as Members were able to get on with doing good work for the people of the Derbyshire Dales.”A Partner at Flint Bishop Solicitors for more than 50 years, Councillor Rose was also a member of Ashbourne Rotary Club and Ashbourne Old Trust and in 2006 was afforded the honour of turning up the ball at Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide.
Stepping down as Leader of the Council in 2019 to a standing ovation in the Matlock Town Hall Council Chamber, Councillor Rose said:
“I am lost for words. Can I say that I have enjoyed - and I'm using that word very advisedly - my term in office and in a sense it is a relief to be able to pass that mantle on to others because things do have to move on."
Referring to the council's "political rapport", he added: "We've had our differences but the main emphasis has always been doing what we can do best for the whole of Derbyshire Dales, whoever they are and whichever part they represent.
“Those in government tend to forget about us poor devils at local level who are closer to the people and understand their needs and desires much better than our Parliamentarians do on their lofty heights. But I do hope that Derbyshire Dales continues to look after Derbyshire Dales and continues to be well recognised within the region and that we can all work together despite our differences to achieve that objective.
“I can only say to all and everyone both here and before a big thank you for putting their trust in me and I'm very grateful for the way you've expressed that."Councillor Rose leaves a widow, Janet, sons Robert and Andrew and five grandchildren. A private burial will be followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne, at 12.30pm on Thursday 27 January.