READER LETTER: 'He served selflessly' - A tribute to Wyndham Northam
PUBLISHED: 14:48 05 November 2018
I knew Wyndham Northam, the North Norfolk District councillor and former Norfolk County councillor who died on October 27, extremely well. The two of us would often meet for lunch and talk about everything from his family - the most important part of his life - to council work, from his time in the Korean War, to his plans for the weekend.
Wyndham was hugely proud of Mundesley, a place he loved.
He had the highest regard for his close friend and fellow Mundesley councillor, Barry Smith, whom he praised to the hilt.
He enormously valued the incredible support Barry gave him during his illness.
It was something Wyndham spoke about every time I visited him.
I wanted Wyndham’s achievements to be recognised by an honour and I am very sad that this could not happen before he died. It would have meant a great deal to him.
I had prepared a nomination which the chairman of Norfolk County Council, Councillor Margaret Stone, and the joint heads of NNDC, Steve Blatch and Nick Baker, were going to support.
This is what I had written: “He has firmly held the finance reins of North Norfolk District Council, to which he was elected in 1999, making this council one of the best managed and financially sound councils in the country.
“He saw the building of record numbers of new and affordable homes, encouraged job creation and business growth, worked to deliver successful apprenticeship schemes and protected the coast in this area of outstanding natural beauty.
“He has spent 41 years of his life in public service, using his wisdom and judgment to work for residents and for businesses, whilst caring for the less fortunate.
“He has served selflessly on three councils, being elected to Mountain Ash UDC in South Wales in 1959, after his naval service. He was elected chairman of Norfolk County Council in 2008 in recognition of his outstanding contribution. His compassion and astute judgment and his unswerving sense of fairness, has informed debate and decision-making.
“He is guided by the highest principles of integrity, hard work and commitment. He is admired and respected by councillors and officers across the political divide.
“Next year he will be 90 years old. He will not stand for election again. The council will be immeasurably diminished when he retires in 2019, by the loss of his shrewdness, resilience and huge experience.
“Despite times of challenge for public authorities, his calm professionalism helped steer North Norfolk District Council away from risks, to make the council the success it is.”
County councillor, Sheringham and Beeston Regis; district councillor, Sheringham South