A FORMER council deputy leader has died following a battle with cancer.
Sam James, who was the Tory deputy leader for East Hampshire District Council from 2002 to 2008, died on Sunday.
Mr James joined the council in 1999 as a councillor for Bramshott and Liphook and retired through ill-health shortly after being re-elected in May. He was once chairman of the council’s south planning committee.
East Hampshire’s leader Patrick Burridge said: ‘Sam James was a close friend and a popular and well-respected councillor and his death is very sad news for us all.
‘He was known for his wit and charm and would often enliven council business with a humorous, well-chosen remark.
‘He was a key member of EHDC from his election in 1999 to his retirement earlier this year and he will be sorely missed by the councillors and officers he worked alongside as well as the residents he worked for. Our sympathies go to his wife Anna and their children at this sad time.’