FLAGS are flying at half-mast following the death of a stalwart politician.
Hampshire County Council has lowered the flags at its Winchester headquarters where Ted Gale spent 12 years representing Hayling Island for the Conservatives.
Well-respected Mr Gale died on Sunday at Queen Alexandra Hospital, aged 87. He had been in hospital for two months following a fall at his Hayling home.
He was known as one of the most hard-working councillors in the county and continued to support local charities, good causes and the Conservative party after he retired in 2009.
Mr Gale was a detective with Hampshire Constabulary before taking early retirement, aged 50, and going on to becoming the security manager for Warner Leisure holiday parks around the country.
He is survived by wife Barbara, 90, his daughters Hilary Gaines and Bridget Gale, three grandsons and three great-grandchildren.
Mrs Gaines, from Park Gate, Fareham, said: ‘He was very community-minded and giving.
‘My parents moved to Hayling in 1965 and they immediately became part of the community.
‘He had a very strong Christian ethic and wanted to support people.’
At one point Mr Gale was on 17 committees and chaired half of them – including Staunton Country Park Joint Management Committee, Chichester Harbour Conservancy, the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Panel and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.
Councillor Frank Pearce, who succeeded Mr Gale in his Hayling seat, said: ‘Ted was always going to be a hard act to follow as he played a huge part in everyone’s life on the Island. He was a true legend.’
Havant Conservative Association treasurer Steven Schrier said: ‘Ted was a delight. He was one of the stalwarts of the Conservative Party but also the community.’
The county council’s flag will be flown at half-mast until sunset on the day of the funeral – which has yet to be set.