It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of former Leader of the Council, Councillor F John Smith, who died on Boxing Day. He was a well-respected, valued member of the community and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
He was a district councillor for 50 years, representing Royston Urban District Council before it became part of North Herts Council in 1974, and continuing as town councillor on Royston Town Council until his death, a total of over 60 years' public service.
He was Leader of North Herts Council for 12 years (1999-2010) stepping down in 2010 after completing exactly 50 years’ service, and in the same year he was awarded Honorary Alderman status.
He was a founding member and keen supporter of Royston Town Twinning.
Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Leader of North Herts Council said: "F John Smith was passionate about serving the communities he represented and we are grateful for the contributions he made to the district. He will be sadly missed by his fellow councillors and electorate. My sincere condolences go out to F John Smith’s family.”
Cllr Claire Strong, Leader of the Conservative Group at North Herts Council, said: "F John Smith gave outstanding service to the residents that elected him and he will be missed. During his time as Leader of North Herts Council, the Royston leisure centre was built and opened in 2005 at a cost of £5million. He was passionate about having this facility for Royston and made it one of the priorities of his leadership."
Cllr Tony Hunter, Chair of Royston and District Committee at North Herts Council said: “A sad loss to the town. His years of service were exemplary and his local knowledge of Royston and its history were exceptional. He was a member of the history society for decades and was the man to go to if you wanted to find out the history of any item in Royston. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”