Cllr Robert Everitt, Chairman of Suffolk County Council, said:
“It is with great sadness that this council remembers Cllr Graham Newman who sadly passed away on Wednesday 28 December 2022 following a short illness.
“Graham had been a Suffolk County Councillor for Felixstowe Coastal since 2005 and was a full and active member of the county council from the moment he was elected. An enthusiastic public servant, Graham rose to the challenge of joining the administration’s Cabinet several times, first by being appointed as Cabinet Member for Adult Services in May 2006, before moving to lead on Children, Schools, and Young People’s Services in 2009 and then holding the Cabinet post for Roads and Transport from 2013 until 2015.
“Graham was elected Vice Chairman in 2019 and went on to become Chairman of Suffolk County Council in October 2020. His time as Chairman, which lasted 18 months until May 2022 and spanned most of the COVID pandemic, will be long remembered. Not only for his steadfast stewardship at a time of great change, especially the use of new technology to help council meetings continue virtually, but also for his relaxed and reassuring presence in the chair - much needed in those stressful pandemic days.
“Graham was also active in the various committees of the council, having chaired several of them over the years, notably as Chairman of the Education and Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee, and most recently as Chairman of the Education Transport Appeals Committee.
“In Graham, Suffolk had an exemplar model of what a county councillor should be. A defender of local decision making, a committed public servant, an honest representative of his division and a champion for the people he represented. His loss will be felt by all his colleagues, regardless of politics. All our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said:
“Graham was a hugely dedicated Councillor, a gentleman and a friend to us all.
“He was so passionate and dedicated about Felixstowe, which he loved and he never let us forget. Over the years Graham held so many senior roles and he was a great mentor to those of us that joined the council after him.
“He also had a great interest and knowledge in trains, buses and cycle routes across our county which he always put to great use. He was well respected by everyone and will be sorely missed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”