Council pays tribute to 'diligent and dedicated councillor' Paul Clark

Cllr Paul Clark has sadly passed away from COVID-19 at the age of 65

Cllr Paul Clark, deputy leader of North Hertfordshire Council, executive member for planning and leader of the Liberal Democrat group has sadly passed away from COVID-19 at the age of 65 - Credit: North Herts Council

Following the tragic passing of Councillor Paul Clark on Tuesday, December 7, North Hertfordshire Council has issued an official statement paying tribute to its long-serving colleague.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Cllr Paul Clark, deputy leader of the council, executive member for planning and leader of the Liberal Democrat group, sadly passed away suddenly from COVID on Tuesday night at the age of 65.

Paul will be missed by many people and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.

Paul served as a district councillor between 1995 to 1999, then from 2001 to 2015, and 2016 to the present day. He was a ward member for Hitchin Highbury for his entire service and served on many committees, including the cabinet panel on housing, strategic planning and transport.

Councillor Paul Clark said the council is currently considering how best to address the inspectors r

Cllr Paul Clark at St Mary's, Hitchin - Credit: Archant

In addition to his role at North Herts Council, Paul was elected to Hertfordshire County Council in May 2021 as the member for Hitchin South.

During his time as a county councillor Paul sat on the council’s development control committee and highways and transport cabinet panel.

It was Paul’s ambition for the council to put its residents first and to work together with them to build an environment for all to flourish. He used his immense experience to ensure that the council did just that.

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He was never afraid to raise his concerns whenever he felt it necessary. He worked incredibly hard over many decades to help those he served.

He was a diligent and dedicated councillor and will be sadly missed.

Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Bim Afolami MP, Dr Helen Hanbury, Ian Albert, and Paul Clark on Remembrance Sunday 2021 Hitchin

Cllr Paul Clark at Hitchin's Remembrance Sunday service at St Mary's Church in November 2021 with Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Bim Afolami MP, Dr Helen Hanbury, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Cllr Ian Albert - Credit: Dan Marsh

Until recently, as well as being a councillor, Paul was a traffic officer for what is now National Highways and worked in the control room managing incidents.

Outside of work, Paul was once a member of the British team for Latin American formation dancing and was an avid sports fan, supporting Saracens Rugby Club and Barnet Football Club.

Reacting to the news, North Herts Liberal Democrat Cllr Steve Jarvis, said: “Paul has been working for Hitchin and its people for the last 30 years, championing the town and the local groups and organisations which he believed make it so special.

"During the last two years since he became deputy leader of North Herts Council he has played a major role right across the district and in May he achieved one of his long standing ambitions by getting elected to the county council.

Paul Clark has won the Hitchin Highbury seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Paul Clark, who has died at the age of 65 - Credit: Archant

"Paul was sure that would enable him to do even more for the people of Hitchin. It is desperately sad that Hitchin and North Herts will now be deprived of his skills and experience."

Hertfordshire County Council chairman, Cllr Seamus Quilty, said: "We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Clark, a hardworking and dedicated councillor who served the people of Hitchin South during his tenure at Hertfordshire County Council, and the wider Hitchin community for nearly 30 years.

"The thoughts of everyone at Hertfordshire County Council are with Paul's family at this time."

Liberal Democrat group leader for Hertfordshire County Council, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: “Having known Paul for many years I am incredibly saddened to hear of his passing, especially so close to Christmas, and my heart and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.

"Even before he was elected to North Herts Council in 1995, Paul worked tirelessly to improve his community, and was delighted to have been chosen by residents in May as their county councillor.

"He will be greatly missed by us as a group as he was starting to get into his stride as a county councillor, and by his residents for whom he worked so hard.”

Co-chair of North Herts & Stevenage Green Party Anni Sander also paid tribute to Councillor Clark.

She said: "The members of North Herts & Stevenage Green Party were saddened to learn of the passing of Cllr Paul Clark. 

"Councillor Clark had been working for Hitchin and its people for the last 30 years within the council chambers and beyond.

"Paul was known to many NH&SGP members who will miss working with him in improving the lives of local residents and the community. He will be missed by many people and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."