Tributes have paid to Wealden District Council councillor and former chairman Chris Hardy who has passed away following a brave battle with cancer.
Mr Hardy died on Monday 27 September and is survived by his wife of 55 years Sue, daughter Louise and grandchildren. He was elected as a councillor to Wealden District Council in 2011 and represented the ward of Hartfield.
During his term of office, he served on the audit and finance committee, overview and scrutiny committee and planning committee north.
In 2016 he was elected chairman of the council and had a successful three-year term.
Born in Kent in April 1939, Mr Hardy was called up for National Service at the age of 18 but had a deferment while flying and gained his private pilot’s licence.
He trained and worked as a loss adjustor – becoming a partner by the age of 29 with Hart & Co Chartered Loss Adjustors – and was also a Freeman and went on to become a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.
Mr Hardy and his family moved to Hartfield 55 years ago and he was also involved with Action in Rural Sussex, Conservators of Ashdown Forest, the Court of the University of Sussex and the Wealden branch of the United Nations Association.
In retirement he wrote two books on the history of loss adjusting and became a racehorse owner and breeder with 11 horses during which time he enjoyed 25 wins.
Mr Hardy’s interest and involvement in politics began in his early 20s and he was also chairman of the Hartfield and Fairwarp Conservative Group for several years.
After being elected to Wealden District Council in May 2011, Mr Hardy was appointed chairman of Planning Committee North in 2012. He was elected vice chairman of the council in May 2015 and chairman in May 2016.
Wealden District Council leader Councillor Bob Standley said, “I was very saddened to hear of the death of Chris Hardy.
“Chris joined the council in 2011 and played a significant part on a number of committees but especially planning. He was an excellent ambassador both in Wealden and further afield. He was respected by his colleagues across the political divide and will be missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing and working with him. ”
Wealden District Council chief executive Trevor Scott said, “Chris was an excellent ward councillor for Hartfield and an outstanding chairman for Wealden for an unprecedented three years.
“As well as being an ambassador for the council, he also did fantastic work promoting and raising money for his chosen charities. In fulfilling his duties, Chris would meet people from all walks of life and made everyone feel at ease.
“I know I speak for all the staff at Wealden when I say how much we will miss him. Our thoughts are with his wife Sue and all his family and friends at this difficult time.”