‘Dedicated to public service all of his life’

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One of the last serving Liberal Democrat councillors in Berkhamsted has died at the age of 81.

John Lythgoe, of Upper Hall Park, lived in the town for 35 years and became involved in its politics after retiring from a career in education in 1995.

He was a Berkhamsted town councillor from 1999 until his death and represented the area as a Dacorum borough councillor from 1995 to 2007.

He played an instrumental role in finding a home for Berkhamsted Skate Park as chairman of the town’s youth facilities working party.

He was a keen wood sculptor and member of the Berkhamsted Arts Society, as well as treasurer for the Berkhamsted Bowls Club – a sport he got into after retirement.

He suffered from glaucoma in his later years but daughter Heather Stewart, 48, of Farrer Top, Markyate said: “Dad’s indomitable spirit and sense of routine did not waver as his sight failed.

“He adored gardening all his life and particularly had a passion for fuchsias, dahlias and tomatoes.”

The town council was dominated by the Lib Dems until 2007, when a majority of Tories were voted in.

The last election brought back just two Lib Dems to the council after a third moved away from the area.

The only one left on the council now is Garrick Stevens but a by-election to replace Mr Lythgoe will be held later in the year.

Mr Stevens said: “He was very straightforward and determined. Once he had made his mind up that something needed to be done, he just pressed very hard to bring it about.

“You could not ask for more. He was very dedicated and a great public servant.”