TRIBUTES have been paid to the chairman of Fawley Parish Council, Cllr Bob Wappet, who has been described as a “kind and gentle man”.
Bob, who lived in Blackfield with wife Pauline, had been a member of Fawley Parish Council for the past 15 years and was heavily involved in all aspects of council business. He had been repeatedly elected as chairman since 2011 and his daughter, Paula Wappet-Madden, is also a serving councillor.
Clerk to the council, Steve Postlethwaite, said Bob served his parishioners passionately to the end. “He was an unassuming man with a quiet but purposeful disposition,” he said. “As clerk to the council for the last two-and-a-half years and being a total newcomer to the post and parish council business, I cannot understate how Cllr Wappet helped and supported me.
“He will be sadly missed by all councillors and staff of the council. We send our condolences to his family and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.”
Former engineer Bob, who ran a hardware store in Fawley for many years, was also a New Forest district councillor at the time of his death. He had represented Fawley, Blackfield and Langley since May 2007.
Writing on her Facebook page on Thursday in last week, district councillor Fran Carpenter, who represents Hordle, said: “I am very much saddened to hear of the death today of Cllr Bob Wappet.
“Bob was a very kind, sweet and gentle man, who worked hard for his residents, and I feel privileged to have served with him on the planning committee at NFDC for several years.
“He and I often arrived early for planning meetings and enjoyed long chats before it began. He will be missed and my thoughts are with his family.”
Fellow district councillor Alexis McEvoy, who also represents Fawley, Blackfield and Langley, also paid tribute to her “long-term friend and political partner”.
She said: “Bob epitomised everything that was good and honourable in a local councillor. He was kind, hardworking and well-liked by all who met him. My sincere condolences to his wife Pauline and all his much loved family.”
She added: “The pages of time continue to turn but the story therein remains a memory forever. Good night, God bless Bob.”