Death of councillor after long battle with cancer
Senior county councillor Peter Bellfield has died after a long battle with cancer.
Mr Bellfield had been Conservative councillor for the Carlford division – which stretches from Westerfield on the edge of Ipswich to Earl Soham and Easton – since 2003.
He had been ill for some time, and the last time he had been able to attend a council meeting was when the authority set its budget for the year in February.
Before he retired and became a councillor Mr Bellfield was employed in the financial services industry and he brought that experience to his role as chairman of the pension fund committee and member of the council’s audit committee.
In his role as chairman of the pension fund committee he had been at the centre of the controversy over its investment in tobacco companies over recent years.
County council leader Colin Noble said: “It is with much sadness that I confirm Councillor Peter Bellfield has lost his brave battle with cancer. He passed away on Saturday morning at Ipswich Hospital.
“Peter performed his community role admirably and was Chairman of the pension fund committee and a keen member of the council’s audit committee.
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“He was held in high esteem and was testament to what a good councillor should be. Peter was a gentleman and will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”
Mr Bellfield’s death brings the number of Conservative members on the 75-seat council down to just 35 – although there are two by-elections in Tory-held divisions on Thursday. One of the independent councillors is US-based Brian Riley who votes with his former Conservative colleagues when he is in Britain to take part in council meetings.
The by-election to chose Mr Bellfield’s successor still has to be arranged. It is expected to take place in July. It cannot be scheduled on the same day as the EU referendum, June 23.
Mr Bellfield, who was a widower, leaves two sons, Robert and Edward.