Tributes paid to ‘warm’ and ‘caring’ Sidmouth Town Councillor Michael Earthey

Councillor Michael Earthey. Picture: Sidmouth Town Council

Councillor Michael Earthey. Picture: Sidmouth Town Council - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a ‘warm’ and ‘caring’ councillor who lost his battle with cancer last month.

Councillor Michael Earthy passed away on November 5, just a few days after giving up his role up on Sidmouth Town Council.

Cllr Earthy, who represented the north ward, joined the council in 2015.

During his time he was a chairman and vice chairman of the planning committee, and played an active role on the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

Christopher Holland, the town clerk, said: “When he first got onto the council he wanted the change world and wanted to do it overnight then realised it wasn’t that simple. He focused on developing the Neighbourhood Plan and cleaning up Sidmouth.

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“He championed openness and honesty.”

Deirdre Hounsom worked closely with Cllr Earthy and is the chair of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. She said: “Councillor Michael Earthey was an immensely warm and caring person, committed to serving the community as an Independent councillor.

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“He told me once that he’d been compelled to stand for council because he profoundly disagreed with a planning decision that he thought was wrong and felt that in future he had a duty to have a voice in any such decisions.

“He was a greatly valued member of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan team with the very difficult task of trying to write the housing policies for the plan.

“He was a big person both physically and morally and his presence at council meetings in speaking his mind and cutting though to the core of an issue will be sadly missed.

“I am still shocked at his untimely death”

The Sid Valley Neighbour Plan, which will help shape the area for the next 20 years, has been dedication to Cllr Earthey.

Chairman of the council Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards said: “When Michael joined the council he settled in quickly.

“He was enthusiastic about how he could provide affordable housing for young people particularly and had lots of ideas. He was very thorough in his approach.

“He became quite well known in general and was always out and about in the town. He will be very much missed by the town and the town council.”

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