It is with great sadness that Bilton & Nidd Gorge councillor, Geoff Webber, passed away on Thursday 11th March.
Geoff was elected to the County Council in 1993 and the Borough Council in 1994.
His public service since then has been amazing and he has held many important and varied roles on both Councils. He served as Leader of the Borough Council between October 2000 and May 2003 and he remained Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Borough Council until he became the District’s Mayor in May 2006. He was also the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on North Yorkshire County Council until his passing.
Geoff’s 28 years of public service were outstanding.
He was a passionate and vigorous campaigner for things he believed were important to, the Community he represented.
GEoff was totally committed to protecting the public services that people valued and frequently challenged those who thought services cuts were more important than Councils having the appropriate funding to provide them.
He championed those on the margins of our Communities and was a strong supporter of the Harrogate Homeless Project.
Geoff was a strong campaigner to protect our National NHS, as well as to secure adequate funding for our comprehensive and special needs schools.
His most recent achievement was persuading the County Council to back free hospital parking for our NHS heroes across North Yorkshire during the COVID crisis.
Geoff was a hardworking, well respected, colleague, who even carried on working from his hospital bed, he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.
Former MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough, Lord Phil Willis, said:
“I was enormously saddened by the death of Cllr Geoff Webber. He was a great friend, colleague, local campaigner and devoted family man.
“Geoff was a bastion of honesty and compassion always trying to make the society in which he lived fairer and better for those most disadvantaged.”
Councillor Pat Marsh, Liberal Democrat Leader on Harrogate Borough Council said:
“I had the privilege to work alongside Geoff as a councillor for many years and know just how hard he worked for his residents. There will no doubt be many who have cause to be thankful for his help.
“He was a big personality and we will miss him dearly.”
Bilton Grange Councillor Trevor Chapman added:
“I was saddened to hear of Geoff's passing. He was a close friend and colleague for over 35 years.
“Geoff was always honest and to the point and worked hard for the local community. We worked together on many borough and county council issues over the years. Geoff will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”