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Obituary: Graham Parkes – former Hythe and Dibden Parish councillor was 'Mr Planning'

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Hythe and Dibden councillor Graham Parkes who was dubbed “Mr Planning” due to his wealth of knowledge.

Graham, who died aged 77, was first elected in 1991 to the parish council and represented wards in the Butts Ash area, where he lived, until 2019.

He also served on New Forest District Council for eight years representing Furzedown from 2003-11.

Graham Parkes
Graham Parkes

Cllr Alex Wade, who served with Graham on the parish council, said: “Graham’s contribution to this council was immense and he was a very proactive, hardworking councillor who took the role seriously and gave it everything.

“He was ‘Mr Planning’ and chaired the parish planning committee for many years, ensuring councillors focused on planning rules, regulations and facts.

“He cared very deeply about Hythe’s conservation area and the parish’s unique and charming architecture.

“His guidance, knowledge and leadership were hugely influential and valued.”

Born in Nottingham on 24th September 1945, he went on to work with Ordnance Survey in 1964.

In 1967 he met and married Yvonne, daughter of a local publican. They had five children: Iain, Martin, Annette, Malcolm and Neil.

The family moved to Hythe in 1976 when Graham gained a promotion with Ordnance Survey at its Southampton headquarters.

He also served as a school governor and was chair of the Hythe and Dibden Twinning Association. He was member of Hythe and District Historians, Waterside Arts, and Waterside Heritage.

After taking early retirement from Ordnance Survey he became manager of the Lime Kiln Lane mobile home estate.

He was heavily involved with the Hythe and Dibden Community Association and wrote books on the history of local area, including Fawley and Hythe.

He was in the process of writing books about Dibden and Dibden Purlieu when he died.

Graham chaired and led the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan group, with his hard work and attention to detail integral to the plan’s success, Cllr Wade added.

He said: “Graham’s legacy for this council is clear, but he also leaves a legacy for the wider community.”

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