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District councillor Hedley Smith dies

PUBLISHED: 17:46 19 January 2011 | UPDATED: 10:32 20 January 2011

South Norfolk district councillor Hedley Smith.

South Norfolk district councillor Hedley Smith.

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The flag is flying half mast outside the offices of South Norfolk Council in memory of councillor Hedley Smith who died on Sunday.

For two decades, Mr Smith dedicated himself to improving the lives of local people as a parish and district councillor.

He was first elected onto South Norfolk as a Conservative councillor in 2007 and represented the parishes of Ashwellthorpe and Fundenhall, Forncett and Tacolneston.

As chairman of the council’s Tas Valley neighbourhood meetings he championed community projects and was a strong supporter of youth organisations – he notably helped launch a skate park in Long Stratton and was a leading light in the community transport Borderhoppa scheme.

Mr Smith, who lived in Carleton Rode but grew-up in nearby Fundenhall, also served on Ashwellthorpe and Fundenhall Parish Council for about 20 years with seven years as chairman.

He was part of the group behind the reopening of Fundenhall church, which was closed for five years while repair works took place to its roof and tower, and also sat on the village hall committee.

Outside of council work, Mr Smith ran a successful diary farm in Fundenhall for 40 years being the third generation of his family to do so.

He also served as chairman of Wymondham Young Farmers Club and Wymondham NFU branches, and became a familiar face to visitors of the Royal Norfolk Show having worked as a steward at the event for 36 years.

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said his colleague worked tirelessly for the people of the district.

He said: “Hedley was a great community champion who worked hard for all the people of his village, irrespective of their normal political views, and will be greatly missed.

“More widely afield, he played a big hand in supporting community organisations like the Borderhoppa in the Waveney valley and he chaired the neighbourhood panel and was a great supporter of youth organisations.

“He worked hard all his life and local people benefited as a result.”

Mr Smith is survivied by his wife Margaret and three children.

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