Fareham councillor dies following Covid-19 infection while at Queen Alexandra Hospital

A SENIOR and long-standing Fareham councillor has died after contracting Covid-19 a week ago, close friends and colleagues have said.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 5:02 pm
Cllr Keith Evans, who served as a councillor on Fareham Borough Council for more than 30 years.

Councillor Keith Evans died surrounded by his family on Sunday.

The councillor had contracted Covid-19 following his admittance to Queen Alexandra Hospital for a non life-threatening condition on Friday, December 18, friends and councillors have told The News.

An elected representative for the Sarisbury and Locks Heath wards for more than 30 years, Cllr Evans was ‘a valued member’ of the council, according to council leader Sean Woodward.

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Councillor Keith Evans. Picture: Hampshire County Council.

Cllr Woodward added Cllr Evans had been ill for a long time but had tested positive for coronavirus at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham last Tuesday beforing dying days later.

‘I am extremely saddened by this news and will miss Keith terribly,’ Cllr Woodward said.

‘Over the last few years, Keith has focused on planning at the council, and Keith and I have shared our frustrations as we have had to redraft and redraft our local plan.

‘I think Keith would be remembered for his work planning for much needed new homes for Fareham residents, and his work as a ward councillor.

‘He was someone people would take their problems to, and they would receive a sympathetic ear, and he would do all they could for them in the best tradition of a local councillor.’

‘My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children.’

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Cllr Evans, who previously worked at pharmaceutical firm Wyeth, was elected to Hampshire County Council in 2005.

The leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans said: ‘On behalf of Hampshire County Council, I wish to express my deep-felt sadness over the death of County Councillor Keith Evans.

‘He was a dedicated county councillor who served the county council on a number of committees including as chairman of the audit committee and the River Hamble Harbour Board, as well as vice-chairman of the conduct advisory panel and the policy and resources select committee.

‘Keith made a significant contribution to the county council, for which we will always be grateful. He was highly regarded by peers and officers, alike – and had the rare gift of commanding complete respect and attention through speaking softly and calmly.

‘He will be missed by us all - and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends.’

Flags outside the offices of Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, as well as those outside the Harbourmaster’s office in Warsash, are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect today.

Cllr Evans’ seat will remain vacant until the County Council elections in May as there is no requirement for a by-election due to the Coronavirus Act.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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