Tributes paid after death of Brighton housing campaigner

Posted On 23 Jul 2022 at 3:59 pm

Tributes have been paid to a Brighton housing campaigner who has died at the age of 77.

Barry Hughes

Barry Hughes was a founding member of the Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition which supports tenants and leaseholders, campaigns for decent homes for all and an end to homelessness.

Mr Hughes also served as a trustee on the board of Brighton and Hove Seaside Community Homes which was set up to help bring empty council homes back into use.

He was a former advertising copywriter and newspaper columnist and gave his time to many community and voluntary groups. He died early yesterday (Friday 22 July).

Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition said: “Everyone here at Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition is very sad to hear that our chairman Barry Hughes sadly passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.

“Barry volunteered tirelessly for the Coalition. He took over the reins after our former chair Steve Parry passed away a few years ago.

“Barry would often challenge the council and take part in campaigns that improved services to local residents and highlighted social injustices.

“Barry worked tirelessly in various roles over the years, closely associated with resident associations and even chairing area panels.

“He was also a trustee with Seaside Community Homes and was an excellent writer, publishing books and writing for others.

“We don’t know any more information at this stage. We send our love to his friends and family at this difficult time.

“We hope you and Steve are having a lovely drink up there! RIP Barry Hughes.”

Green councillor David Gibson, who co-chairs the Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Committee, said: “Barry was a truly genial man. He was tirelessly active in support of residents and involved in many groups.

“Not only was he an effective champion for residents on the Sylvan Hall estate, building a strong community, but he also played a key role in founding the Housing Coalition, going on to become its chair.

“He often had a twinkle in his eye and, despite a mild manner and good humour, he was a very effective advocate for the many causes he supported. A loss for us all.”

Barry Hughes

Tributes on the Housing Coalition’s Facebook page include one from homelessness campaigner Jim Deans said: “We are all in total shock. Barry was ‘the Gentleman’ – always a voice of reason and always there with support when you needed it.

“He often read between the lines and knew you needed help even before you asked. He constantly thought only of others and in the last few weeks I think that has become so obvious. Rest in Peace Barry you will be sorely missed.”

Independent councillor Nikkie Brennan said: “So sad. Yes, he really was a gentle man.”

Green councillor Tom Druitt said: “What sad news. Barry was a real champion.”

And Swale Borough Council chief executive Larissa Reed, the former executive director for neighbourhoods, communities and housing at Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “That’s very sad. We had some very lively chats but he was always kind to me and was a proper gentleman.”

  1. Mike Astle Reply

    I would appreciate any news on Barry Hughes. I have been very close friend for over 20 years. Laura we have met several time in Wetherspoons George St. Herbal teas ha ha

  2. Jackie Harbidge Reply

    Have you heard any details of Barry’s funeral yet? We are still trying to find out…

  3. Mike Astle Reply

    This is the latest news on Barry Hughes. Brighton and Hove genealogy rang me this week saying they’re trying to track next of kin. This will take about 3 months. Then about 2 months to arrange funeral. So we are looking at about 5 months before we can pay our respects. Mike Astle

    • James Iain Stuart Pitkeathly Reply

      Hello Mike I don’t know if we have met but I am an old friend of Barry Hughes and would be grateful if you could let me know when you find out any information about funeral arrangements etc. Many thanks Iain. (PK)

  4. Jackie Reply

    Thank you Mike..

  5. Gwilym Reply

    Very sorry to head about Barry we were cousins and I had only been in touch by email a couple of months ago in connection with some family history I had found, he was very keen on family history. A bit of a shock and the third cousin we have lost in the last three months. RIP

    • Simon Gilkes Reply

      I too had been doing some family history work with Barry. Shock when I found this article. If you would like to talk Mitchell family history Gwilym – please contact me.

    • Hugh Williams Reply

      Hi Mike I have been trying to contact Barry and only just heard the sad news. I was in school with Barry and known him since the mid fifties. We occasionally spoke or emailed, the last time we met was just over three years ago. He rang last summer to let me know that a cousin of his that I knew had passed away.
      A real character and a great guy. RIP.

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