Visitors to this site will almost certainly have seen the many fulsome eulogies, in the local press and on the Ashtead Residents Association website, to John who sadly died on 16 March having resigned from the Council only a few days previously due to his deteriorating health. The Ashtead Independent Councillors would like to add the following brief tribute.
John had had an exceptionally good grounding in the ways of local government, having been on the Ashtead Residents’ Standing Committee for many, many years before he stood as an Ashtead Independent for the Common Ward in 2000. He had a prestigious appetite for “reading the paperwork” and you knew that we would always be fully briefed on the topic in hand. What he didn’t know about Planning wasn’t worth knowing and the fellow Councillors and Council Officers listened carefully when John spoke about Planning matters. He was extremely well respected at Pippbrook by his fellow Councillors & Officers; so much so know that, on learning of his death, the flag at the Council Offices was lowered to half-mast and as his funeral began, there was a minutes silence at Pippbrook – a mark of respect from those there and a mark of the man.
John also “took on” Thames Water when there was a spate of flooding in his Ward; unsurprisingly, John prevailed and the matter was dealt with. He also took a very keen interest in the Level Crossing, a feature of his Ward, and was frequently seen visiting the overnight works in the early hours of the morning, making sure he knew what was happening, in case he wanted to revert to Network Rail.
It may seem from the above that John was “all work and no play” but that would be very far from the truth: he had many other interests and enjoyed a good laugh, often at his own expense.
He was a lovely man, who will be sorely missed by his fellow Ashtead Independents, and Councillors of other hues, along with many in Ashtead.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gill, his wife, and his children, Richard and Clare, and the wider family.