Tributes pour in for popular former MP and councillor

News / Tue 25th Jul 2017 at 07:11am

Gary Waller

COUNCILLOR Gary Waller, a former MP, current Epping Forest cabinet member and district councillor for the Lower Sheering ward, has died aged 72.

Gary Waller was a constant presence in Harlow as he helped on the district, county and national campaigns.

Harlow MP. Robert Halfon said: “Gary was a remarkable man and could not have been a better President for Harlow Conservatives. As a former MP, he could have retired from politics. Instead, he devoted his time to serving his community and ensuring Harlow was a Conservative constituency.

“Gary lived in Sheering. He was passionate about the village and was a regular sight in Harlow too, canvassing on Saturday mornings in his flat cap. He worked hard, both as a Councillor and a Cabinet Member, at Epping Forest District Council. He was just one of those people who is determined to dedicate their lives to public service and their community.

“I last saw Gary just a couple of weeks ago, sitting in his beautiful garden for the Harlow Conservatives Annual Summer Party. As I was leaving, he took me into his lounge and showed me some beautiful watches and ornaments that he had collected. I feel lucky to have this moment as my last memory of him.

“Over the years I so appreciated his advice and support. The best way to remember Gary is both working hard to give the Conservatives a strong voice in Harlow and the villages, and being true public servants for our communities.

Epping Forest District Council has offered their sincere condolences to Councillor Waller’s family, friends and colleagues. The district council flag in Epping has been lowered as a mark of respect.

Councillor David Stallan Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “It is with deep sorrow that I announce the death of my friend and colleague Gary Waller. We are all stunned by his sudden death.”

“I worked with Gary on the cabinet for many years. He was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio he represented. He had a wicked sense of humour and always stood up for what he believed in, even if it was unpopular. We have lost a great councillor who will be sorely missed.”

Epping Forest District Council Leader Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear of Gary’s death. On behalf of the conservative group, I offer sincere condolences to his family and to all who knew him. Today, we mourn together the loss of a dear friend and hard-working local councillor.”

Political history

Gary had been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Brighouse and Spenborough constituency in Yorkshire from 1979 until 1983, until the seat was abolished after boundary changes. He was then elected MP to the nearby Keighley constituency in 1983 until he lost he seat in the 1997 General Election.

Gary was elected a district councillor on 5 May 2011 to represent the Lower Sheering Ward on Epping Forest District Council. He was the cabinet member for the Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio and a member of many committees and panels, including the Essex Police and Crime Panel.

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