Hangleton councillor dies unexpectedly

Posted On 09 Dec 2010 at 7:56 pm

Brighton and Hove councillor David Smart has died unexpectedly.

Councillor Smart, who represented Hangleton and Knoll on Brighton and Hove City Council, died last night (Wednesday 8 December).

He was a retired police officer and former member of the Older People’s Council. He lived in High Park Avenue, in the heart of the ward, and won his city council seat in May 2007.

Councillor Smart, who was in his seventies, and his widow Olive had recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

His colleagues held a minute’s silence at the start of the cabinet meeting this afternoon.

Fellow Conservative councillor and ward colleague Dawn Barnett said: “We’re all very upset. It was so sudden. He was well liked.”

Councillor Tony Janio, also a fellow Hangleton and Knoll ward Conservative councillor, said: “We’re all devastated. It was such a shock.

“He was very much a community-based councillor.

“At the last election, he was one who coined the phrase, ‘in the community, for the community’.

“He set up the multicultural engagement project which has been very successful.

“He was a member of the Hangleton and Knoll Project and very well respected in our community.”

Even the Brighton Politics Blog, which is not known for its Conservative sympathies, said recently: “Labour has lost the common touch which councillors Barnett, Janio and Smart have in abundance … They know how to nurse a ward.”

Green councillor Jason Kitcat, who lives in Hangleton, said: “It’s very sad news. David was liked across the parties and well regarded. He was a very enthusiastic councillor.

Asked about the political implications, Councillor Kitcat said: “We will discuss the implications of this after a respectful period.”

A by-election is not expected to be held, with local elections due next May.

But the minority Conservative administration now holds 25 of the 54 seats on the council.

Labour and the Greens hold 13 each and the Liberal Democrats two.

  1. Peter lewis Reply

    David was a very genuine, compassionate and caring councillor…a thoroughly decent gentleman working tirelessly for all in his area irrespective of political persuasion. A really nice guy…will be sorely missed

  2. Nick Pannett Reply

    so saddened to hear this…was chatting with him just a week ago, he was buying some bird seed during the heavy snow.
    Rest in peace.

  3. Richard Delacour Reply

    My sympathies go out to David’s family, friends & colleagues. I had the pleasure of knowing & working with David through the Hangleton & Knoll project and the area was so much better off for having him working for it. He will be sadly missed. RIP David.

  4. Claire Sillence Reply

    So shocked to hear this sad news, having worked for the Hangleton and Knoll Project for 3 years I knew David very well and his dedication to the ward and the community was truly amazing, he will be missed by so many people, my thoughts are with his with Olive at this very sad time.

  5. Nicole Monney Reply

    David was so commited to improving peoples lives and was such an inspiration. Having worked with him for many years in Hangleton and Knoll, he was always quick to get involved in setting up new activities and initiatives for the young and old, working tirelessly to bring funding and resources into the community, and always present at local events giving his encouragement and support. David was a believer in people, a kind and generous man and he will be greatly missed by so many people. My thoughts go out to Olive and his family at this very very sad time.

  6. Kaye Duerdoth Reply

    David was a fantastic support for the multi-cultural women’s group in Hangleton and Knoll. He will be greatly missed especially his gentle determination to make a real difference in the community.

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