BREAKING NEWS: Fenland councillor Robert Scrimshaw found dead at his home near Wisbech
PUBLISHED: 21:52 05 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:11 07 January 2013
FENLAND farmer, district and parish councillor Robert Scrimshaw was today found dead at his home in Murrow near Wisbech.
He famously won his district council seat in 2008 after a Tory resigned in protest at the opening of a sex shop.
In a short, but significant, period Robert Scrimshaw became a popular and hard working member of Fenland Council,
Cllr Scrimshaw represented the villages of Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary on the district council and also served on the parish council.
At Fenland Hall he was a member of both the planning and overview and scrutiny committees and previously served on the licensing committee.
Council Leader Alan Melton said: “I am greatly saddened by this news. Robert was a very conscientious councillor; he enjoyed his work, always speaking up on rural issues.
“All members liked and respected Robert. I shall particularly miss him and I have enjoyed many conversations with him, usually about our shared support for Peterborough United.
“I was at the match today, and noticed that Robert was not in his usual place. We will all miss him”
Debbie Clark, the Conservative Association agent for NE Cambs, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear Robert has died. He could talks the hind legs off a donkey but he was a good man and a passionate councillor.”
Wisbech town and Cambridgeshire county councillor Steve Tierney said: “I don’t have the words to express how much respect I had for my friend Robert Scrimshaw, or how sad I am to hear of his death. A tragedy.”
Cllr Scrimshaw’s by election in December 2008 came after a by election yesterday caused by the resignation of a councillor over a new sex shop.
Cllr Scrimshaw’s victory came after the surprise resignation of Phil Wait who had only held the seat for a few months before resigning in a row over the licensing committee’s decision to grant consent for businessman Tony Ibrahim’s Kiss Kiss sex shop at Guyhirn.
Mr Wait argued that the council had made the wrong decision in granting a licence for the former Little Chef and said after the decision was taken that he felt disillusioned with the council. A short while later he resigned, despite an impassioned plea from Council Leader Geoff Harper and chief whip Kit Owen to remain.
Cllr Scrimshaw, chairman of Parson Drove Cricket Club, and vice chairman of Parson Drove Street Pride Group, was scathing in his views about his predecessor.
“It is unfortunate that the incumbent district councillor thought fit to resign over an issue where the council had limited power to act.
“It is usual to stay around and fight your corner.”
He also criticised Mr Wait for forcing the council to spend £6,500 on election costs only eight months after the previous by election which had been called following the death of Cliff Edwards