TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘hard-working’ Malvern Hills District councillor who passed away last night (Monday).
Coun Chris Cheeseman was making a speech at the specially arranged Planning Committee meeting yesterday (Monday, June 2) when he appeared to be in distress.
A paramedic arrived around 7.50pm within ten minutes, shortly followed by an ambulance. In the meantime one committee member had run over to Malvern Splash nearby to fetch a defibrillator.
At 8.20pm Mr Cheeseman was taken to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance where he passed away at the age of 73.
Coun Cheeseman, Conservative ward member for the Wells had been a member for Malvern Hills District Council since 2007.
He served on many committees including taking up the role of Chairman on the Standards Committee and was also involved in Community Action, Malvern Hills AONB Joint Advisory Committee, Malvern Hills Conservators and was former Vice Chairman of the West Worcestershire Conservative Association.
Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin said: “Chris Cheeseman was a hard-working local councillor and a very thoughtful and kind person. He was passionate about his politics and was attending a council meeting when he fell ill. In recent years he has been a devoted carer for his wife Ann.
“I know he will be greatly missed by his friends, colleagues, residents of Malvern Wells and West Worcestershire Conservatives and my thoughts are with Ann and the family at this very sad time.”
Coun Paul Swinburn, Deputy Leader of Malvern Hills District Council added: “Chris was a devoted councillor who gave a lot of time to the council and his other roles on committees and in his community.
“This is a very sad time for all of us here at the council and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ann and his family.”
Julian Roskams, leader of the council’s Democratic group, said: “While Chris and I often failed to agree on policy matters, I always admired his tireless energy and enthusiasm for his work as a councillor and recognised he spoke from a position of deeply held beliefs from which he did not waver.”
Tom Wells, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, called Mr Cheeseman a ‘thoroughly decent straightforward local politician’ whose presence would be missed.
A spokesman for the Malvern Hills Conservators said the board and staff were deeply saddened by the news and added: “Chris played an important role in protecting the Malvern Hills landscape he was so fond of. We would like to pass on our thanks for his years of service and our deepest sympathies go to Chris’ family.”