Tributes paid to Tory councillors

THE wife of a former Tory councillor has told the EADT that the stress of trying to clear his name after allegations of racism played a part in his sudden death.

THE wife of a former Tory councillor has told the EADT that the stress of trying to clear his name after allegations of racism played a part in his sudden death.

Beryl Myers-Hewitt was speaking following the death of her husband Keith, who died in the early hours of yesterday morning at Addenbrooke's Hospital following a heart attack.

Mr Myers-Hewitt, 74, was the former Conservative County Councillor for Stowmarket South as well as a Stowmarket town councillor and former chairman and deputy chairman of Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association.

He resigned from the Conservative administration of the County Council last month to stand as an Independent after an investigation into claims he had made a racially offensive comment at Stowmarket library.

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Although the Adjudication Panel for England decided in August this was the case they ruled that Mr Myers-Hewitt, a Korean war veteran, had not broken the code of conduct.

Mrs Myers Hewitt, who lived with her husband at Combs Ford, Stowmarket, said: “The last few months did take their toll and he was under a lot of strain.

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“It was a very stressful time and I have told people that. Although the stress may not have been the major factor it certainly did not help and I'm sure it played some part.

“Following Keith's death I have resigned from the town council and from the Conservative party because I just don't feel that he had the backing that he deserved during the tribunal.”

She continued: “He was the most fabulous husband and father and no one worked harder for the community. His love was for the community.”

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “We are very saddened to hear the news of Cllr Myers-Hewitt's sudden death.

“He did much charitable work, and was committed to representing his community on the county council. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

Meanwhile Andrew Varley, deputy leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, portfolio holder for arts, heritage and leisure and chairman of the Cattle Market re-development working party has also died following a long illness.

Paying tribute to both men Conservative Association chairman Eric Flack said: “It is with much sadness and regret Bury St Edmunds Conservatives announce the death of two senior Party members who have given stalwart service to the Association and to the wider community over many years.

“The people of Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket have lost two men who dedicated much of their recent lives to the benefit of their communities.

“They gave freely of their time to help others and, being men of honour and courage, were unafraid to state their firmly-held opinions; even in the face of strong and, sometimes, vociferous opposition, in the belief that they would be for the greater long-term benefit of their constituents.”

Of Mr Varley chief executive of St Edmundsbury Borough Council Deborah Cadman said: “Despite his illness Andrew continually demonstrated great personal courage and dedication and his advice has been valued tremendously by all who knew him throughout his time as a councillor.

“He made a huge contribution to the life of St Edmundsbury both at a personal and professional level and I, for one, will miss him enormously. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.”

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