Tributes have been paid to the ‘huge enthusiasm’ of a former chairman of North Horsham Parish Council.
Roger Wilton lived in the town for most of his adult life and was actively involved with community organisations such as the Roffey Youth Centre and Sayers Croft Environmental Education Centre.
He served as a Horsham district councillor for Roffey South from 2003 to 2007, and in 2009 was co-opted on to North Horsham Parish Council, joining his wife Sally as a fellow parish councillor.
Roger then served as the parish council’s chairman from 2011 to 2017, and during this time the Horsham Bowls Club moved from the Bishopric in the town centre to land behind Holbrook Tythe Barn maximising the use of the parish council’s land.
He passed away peacefully in February and his funeral was held earlier this week.
Alan Britten, current chairman of the parish council, said: “He was a friend to many people, an approachable man who when asked would always give sensible and thought out advice.
“When I was previously chairman of the council I found I could seek his advice without fear of condescension on his part and said advice was well meaning and cogent.”
Peter Burgess, the longest serving North Horsham parish councillor, added: “Roger always had a huge enthusiasm, a wide range of interests, an ability to bring people together and to consensus.
“His humour was one of his greatest assets.”
Ray Turner, who was chairman when Roger was co-opted added: “Roger gave a major contribution to the community over the years to Horsham as a whole and to North Horsham in particular.’’
Leonard Crosbie, who represents Trafalgar at HDC, said: “Roger always sought to speak for the individual or the community when disadvantaged, as he saw it, by the planning or financial constraints of local government.
“He was never comfortable with party politics.
“He always addressed issues in his own way, reflecting his character and style as someone who was true to his principles of fairness and support for all his constituents.”