Long-time Horsham councillor steps down due to ongoing health issues

A ‘kind, honest and hard-working’ Horsham councillor has stepped down due to ongoing health issues after more than two decades of service.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 11:48 am
Godfrey Newman pictured at the 2010 general election count

Godfrey Newman, who represented the Forest ward, was first elected to Horsham District Council in 1991.

After a four year gap he was re-elected to HDC in 2011.

He also stood as the Lib Dems’ parliamentary candidate for the Horsham constituency at the 2010 general election, finishing second with 32.2 per cent of the vote.

This week the Lib Dems announced he has stepped down from the council due to ongoing health issues.

David Skipp, chairman of Horsham District Council, led the tributes. He said: “Godfrey has been a greatly valued councillor and a loyal member of our group. He was always very sharp about planning and other council matters. He has worked hard on behalf of his residents and he’ll be missed immensely.”

Frances Haigh, minority group leader, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Godfrey. He is highly respected within the council. We have fought many battles together over the years, including against the last local plan. He has served on numerous committees and given many hours of service to his community.”

Several current and former Lib Dem colleagues also reflected on Godfrey’s time at HDC.

Belinda Walters said: “Godfrey regained his seat by knocking on every single door in his target ward. Residents were delighted to meet him face to face and hear his policies and pledges. He has over the years proved time and again he deserved their support. Notably for leading the fight against development of Muggeridge Field off Brighton Road.”

Christine Costin said: “Godfrey has been a valued colleague at HDC and a real friend to me and my family for a very long time. He is a kind, honest and hard-working councillor who will be missed in the council chamber. His health has been troublesome for a while so it is no surprise that he wants to reduce the pressures in order to relax with his family and his friends. I will be hoping to see him refreshed and able to enjoy his many interests.”

Martin Boffey said: “Godfrey has always struck me as a lovely man of high intelligence, wit and integrity. The local party owes him a debt of gratitude for keeping the LibDem flame alive on HDC as part of our very own ‘gang of four’ from 2015-2019.”

Former Lib Dem councillor David Holmes added: “Godfrey was a brilliant councillor over very many years. He was a model to be followed, hard-working, sensible and supportive of colleagues.”