Popular Wealden and Heathfield councillor, Peter Newnham, dies

PETER GUY NEWNHAM, Wealden District Councillor and former chairman of Heathfield Parish Council died on Monday after a long illness.

Peter, who was in his late sixties, was well-loved and respected in the town where he was always to be seen, talking with constituents and working to resolve their problems, no matter how busy he was with council affairs. He served on Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council from 1995 and was chairman of the burial grounds and highways, planning and street lighting committees. He was appointed chairman in May 2009 serving until May 2012.

Peter took an active interest in the community and served on most local organisations including the Heathfield Partnership, Wealden Citizens Advice, the Local Action Team, the Cross in Hand Amenities Society, the Cross-in-Hand village hall

committee, Heathfield charities and was a member of the town’s Twinning Association and a friend of the Heathfield and Waldron Millennium Green plus many other


During his years as chairman he represented the council at all local events including Remembrance services, Le Marche, the Cuckoo Fair, Family Fun Days, Christmas festivals, the Heathfield Carnival as well as meetings and social events of most of the town’s clubs and societies.

Heathfield Parish Council clerk Diana Francis said: “Peter’s death is a great loss to Heathfield, the whole wider community and to all those residents who knew him personally. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

Peter was first elected to Wealden District Council in September, 2010 to represent the Heathfield Central and North Ward. He served on the planning committee north and the community and environment scrutiny committee.

Wealden District Council chairman Cllr Jonica Fox said: “Peter was a wonderful man with a gift for friendship. He seemed to know everyone and those who turned to him for help and advice were always supported by him. He grew up and spent his life in Cross-in-Hand and worked devotedly to help Heathfield, Cross-in-Hand and Waldron residents see real improvements in their town and villages both as a parish councillor and a district councillor. We will all miss him greatly.”