Published: September 20, 2011
Tributes paid to long-serving county councillor Alan Ham

Tributes have been paid to a well-known local councillor, Alan Ham, who died today on Tuesday (September 20th) after battling an illness.

Alan - who was the county councillor for the Brent ward - passed away, leaving his wife and two sons.

Brent Knoll district councillor Bob Filmer told "It is very sad news that Alan has died. His death is a huge loss to his family, whom my thoughts and prayers are with at this time."

"Alan was a very good friend and a mentor to me as a councillor for many years."

"Having been a parish, district and county councillor at various times, he had such a wide knowledge of the local council scene. He gave so much to our local community and will be a big gap to fill."

Alan was born in Somerset and educated at the former Weston-super-Mare Grammar School for Boys. After Agricultural College in Shropshire he became a lecturer in agriculture in Wiltshire and East Sussex.

In 1970, he and his wife took over the family livestock farm in Weare and he became involved in local government, first as clerk to Weare Parish Council and then as a member of Sedgemoor District Council. Since 1988, he was a member of Somerset County Council.

Alan was closely involved with several local campaign groups, including the ongoing fight to introduce a footpath along Berrow's Coast Road.

He also had a key role in getting Burnham-On-Sea's Frank Foley Parkway finished, as we reported here at the time. He is pictured here with former Burnham and Highbridge MP David Heathcoat-Amory in 2009 just before the construction work began.

Burnham district councillor Cllr Neville Jones also paid tribute to Alan on Tuesday, telling "Without a doubt, Alan was a role model for me, having persuaded me to stand for election in 1985."

"He did an awful lot of work for the community, which was largely unseen by the public. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts are with his wife and sons at this time."

Berrow district councillor Councillor Tony Grimes added: "It is with great sadness that I have just heard about the sad news that Alan has passed away. Alan was a great support in my position as Councillor of Berrow and Brean. I send my condolences to his wife and family. He will be greatly missed."

Alan's death means a county council by-election will be held over the next few months.


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