03 January 2023

Tributes paid to former deputy mayor Cllr John Broom

Tributes paid to former deputy mayor Cllr John Broom

TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘man firm and strong in his beliefs’ with the death of former Lyme Regis deputy mayor, Cllr John Broom.

Cllr Broom passed away aged 78 at Dorset County Hospital on the morning of Monday 2 January.

Councillors have spoken of his good humour, the wealth of knowledge he brought to his council role, and his honesty, calling him ‘one of the good guys’.

Leading the tributes, Lyme Regis mayor Cllr Michaela Ellis said: “Everyone at Lyme Regis Town Council is saddened to hear of John’s death. He will be greatly missed for all the input he had in building and planning matters.

“He brought a wealth of knowledge and skills to the council and we will miss his wise words and expert guidance.”

Cllr Broom joined the council in May 2015 and served as deputy mayor from October 2021 until May 2022.

He took on several other senior roles within the council, including as long-standing chairman of the Town Management and Highways Committee, chairman of the Health and Safety Committee, vice-chairman of the Strategy and Finance Committee and vice-chairman of the Planning Committee.

Cllr Broom served as deputy mayor to former mayor Cllr Brian Larcombe, who has thanked his ‘remarkable’ friend and colleague for his service to the town and council.

Cllr Larcombe said: “We’ve lost a councillor, a colleague, and a friend. John was a remarkable, long-standing member of Lyme Regis Council and an executive member of its Dorset Association, Western Area group, vice-chair.

“He previously worked for the council and subsequently as an elected member brought his life-long building knowledge and experience to the benefit of the council’s Town Management and Highways Committee as its chairman, and the upkeep of Lyme council’s public spaces and assets that forms the principal part of its brief.

“John was a big man, firm and strong in his beliefs, stubborn at times but forthright and always with good humour. He would counter another’s expressed view often with a wise ‘Well I’m sorry but…’ and brought sense and logic to the council at times when it seemed to escape others.

“He was my deputy mayor and always very supportive and available despite maintaining a full-time commitment to his building business. He would cram so much in the day, often driving to sites miles away in other counties and still be at Lyme’s council meetings, for all the committees he was on, papers read and thoughts prepped and formed.

“He would ring practically daily and would always start the conversation with ‘Alright my son...’ followed by ‘What are they doing down there…’ and just the right advice needed.

“Although he always reminded us that he was Devon born, he lived his life in and for Lyme, the town he cared so much about, following in the steps of his mother and father, Lilian and Henry, adding to the indelible part of Lyme their family was. His and his parent’s house – Providence Place was aptly named.

“John was a man of surprising pursuit, from cribbage and badminton to sailing across the Channel and other parts in boats with motley crews of Lyme friends and the things they got up to under wind, sail and wine-racing.

“There’s so much that can be said of a man who was part of the fabric of the town and who was a very significant member of the council in a way his father, as a previous mayor, would have been proud of.

“Thank you, John. Although it’s always said at these times, but it is absolutely true – you will be greatly missed as a member, colleague and friend, John. God bless.”

Current deputy mayor Cllr Cheryl Reynolds has known Cllr Broom all her life but was pleased to be able to work alongside him as a town councillor.

She said: “It is with great sadness I pass on the news of the death of my friend and colleague John Broom who passed away yesterday morning at Dorset County Hospital. 

“I have known John all my life, we both went to grammar school, and I have had the pleasure of the last few years working with him on council. 

“I will miss his honesty and his helpfulness, I will miss his support and him so much.”

Other members have also paid tribute, including Cllr Richard Doney who has called him ‘one of the good guys’, Cllr Belinda Bawden who described him as a ‘true original’, and Cllr David Ruffle who remembers him as being ‘forthright in his views, but thoroughly likeable’.

All members and staff agree Cllr Broom will be sorely missed and is a great loss to the council.

The council’s thoughts and deepest condolences are with Cllr Broom’s family and friends.