Former councillor’s love of art and grassroots politics remembered

Alan Fisher, Horsham District Councillor 2003-2011
Alan Fisher, Horsham District Councillor 2003-2011

A former Horsham District councillor has been remembered for his passion and dedication to public service following his death earlier this month.

Alan Fisher, 85, was first elected to Horsham District Council in May 2003 as member for the Bramber, Upper Beeding and Woodmancote ward and served until May 2011 when he retired due to poor health.

Following his recent death in Bramber where he lived, tributes have poured into the County Times.

Born in Hampstead, North London, in 1927, he attended Southall Grammar School from 1938 to 1945. During that time he was a member of the air cadets and a senior scout.

He married Barbara in Birkenhead in 1954 and they moved to Bramber with their three daughters in 1974.

Trained in civil engineering, Alan worked with Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow on many large engineering projects around the world. The one he spoke of most was when he worked on a hydro-electric scheme in Anatolia, Turkey.

As well as dedicated councillor, he had a love for military history. He served in the Territorial Army for many years achieving the rank of Major responsible for training in the Sussex Cadet Force and a member of the Honourable Artillery Company.

In his leisure time, he was a talented artist - a love he has passed on to some of his grandchildren - and collaborated on the Millennium Maps for Bramber and Upper Beeding.

Last but not least, he was a life-long Conservative and was passionate about grassroots politics attending most parish council meetings in his ward.

On his retirement from HDC before the 2011 elections, he was presented with a long-service award for his eight years serving on numerous committees, including overview and scrutiny, development control south and licensing.

Colleagues from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to him this week.

The leader of HDC Ray Dawe, said: “I first met Alan when I joined the district council in 2007. I soon found him to be extremely hard working and very involved in the council’s activities.

“He was never short of a comment or opinion on what was happening and certainly had a robust but constructive approach to the things we were doing.

“We were always grateful for his positive contributions and I think that this attitude really portrays his sense of responsibility towards the job of councillor.”

Liz Kitchen (Con, Rusper and Colgate) said: “Alan Fisher was a very dedicated councillor, who showed great attention to detail

in his work at Horsham District Council. He had a great interest in all workings of the council and had an enormous knowledge of the outside world, which is very important as a councillor.”

Leader of the Horsham Liberal Democrats David Holmes said: “I had enormous respect for him. When we worked together in committees he was always a very hard working and caring councillor.

“I do not think that anyone attending a meeting would have known what party he represented. He always focused upon the issue and tried hard to ensure that it was properly dealt with. When comment was required he always spoke up.

“He had long experience in contract management and tried to improve the council’s contract setting procedures and project management.”

A spokesman from the South Downs and Arundel Conservative Association, where he was a member, said: “Alan was a very respected and valued member of the South Downs and Arundel Conservative Association.”

Members of the Horsham Conservative Association also knew him well. A spokesman said: “We were saddened to hear of the death of former Horsham District councillor Alan Fisher.

“Alan was a great source of help and inspiration to the Conservative Group of Horsham District Council and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”