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Death Announced of Former Mayor Robert Blundell

Published on: 30 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 2 Apr, 2017

Robert Blundell

The death of Hon Alderman Robert Blundell has been announced by Guildford Borough Council. He is believed to have been in his early 80s.

In a short statement it was said: “It is with great regret and sadness that we have been informed that Honorary Alderman Robert Blundell passed away on Sunday March 26 2017.”

Robert Blundell was first elected to the former borough council in 1972 for the St. Nicolas Ward and served as a councillor for 33 years until 2005.  He was Mayor of Guildford in 1999/2000 and, following his resignation from the council due to a stroke, the council conferred upon Cllr Blundell the title of Honorary Alderman in 2006 in recognition of his eminent service rendered to the council both as a councillor and as a former Mayor of the Borough.

Robert Blundell with his mayoral insignia in 1999

Throughout his time as a Liberal Democrat councillor, one of his principal interests was housing.  He served on the former Personal Services Committee, which was renamed the Housing and Health Committee and for a time he was also Chairman of the Housing Management Sub-Committee.

For many years Cllr Blundell practised as a GP at a surgery in Farnham Road and continued when it moved to Wodeland Avenue.

At the time he stepped down from the council the Liberal Democrat group leader Jayne Marks said: “We are very sorry that Robert has had to resign from the council… We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his long service to our community. During his 33 years on the council, Robert has been passionate about many things, but the most enduring was his championing of the disadvantaged.

“As a local GP, he brought to his membership of the housing committee his considerable knowledge of the difficulties that people face in every day life with poverty, poor housing and ill health. He made sure that no-one overlooked the human element of the issues that sometimes seem simply procedure.

“He is fiercely proud of Guildford and has always put what he thought was right for the town ahead of something that he thought might be political. In that sense Robert has been the best kind of councillor – local champion first and politician second.”

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Responses to Death Announced of Former Mayor Robert Blundell

  1. Sue Doughty Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    This is very sad news. Robert was ill for some years following his stroke and this was devastating to a man who was so active mentally and physically. Before, during and after my time as Member of Parliament for Guildford I regularly was joined by Robert at my surgeries and also out in the community.

    It was very clear that both as a councillor and as a GP Robert was very much loved and appreciated by many families of Guildfordians. Indeed there are many local people who Robert brought into the world!

    We have very much missed him in the community.

    Sue Doughty is the former Lib Dem MP for Guildford.

  2. Caroline Reeves Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    It was the retirement of Robert Blundell that allowed me to stand for election in Friary & St Nicolas ward in November 2005.

    I soon discovered that he would be a hard act to follow, everyone everywhere seemed to know his name, or in some cases as Sue Doughty has said, he was there when they arrived in the world.

    I did not know Robert well but it was sad to see the frustrating effect of his stroke on such a capable and much loved man.

    Caroline Reeves is leader of the Lib Dem group at the borough council.

  3. Sue Fox Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Robert was a very special man, not only my doctor and fellow councillor but a friend. He was inspirational and completely straight and caring. He led the Stoughton Road practice where his fan club was enormous, he spent many hours helping the residents of “No 7”, a home for homeless men.

    Robert had a great sense of humour and was a great host, along with his wife Jill who was an amazing support to him, particularly in his latter years.

  4. Fiona White Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I am very saddened by the news of Robert’s death. He was a long-serving and respected councillor when I was first elected and I had huge respect for him as a fellow member during the years we served together.

    My particular interest was in housing and he did everything he could to encourage me. I remember him, too, as an advocate for homeless charities in Guildford. It was a sad time when he had to stand down as a councillor due to ill-health.

    My thoughts are with his wife, Jill, who was by his side during his mayoral year and who cared for him so well after his stroke.

    Fiona White is a Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford West.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Dr. Blundell was a councillor who always put the need of Guildford people before politics.

    An attribute to be truly admired, and one which set an example to us all.

  6. Channon Cornwallis Reply

    June 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I’m devastated to read about the death of my dear friend Robert, who meant so very much to my family and myself for so many years.

    We spent many happy hours discussing his life in South Africa and he was an exceptional and much loved friend to so many.

    His humour and compassion shone through and he will be missed so very much.

    God Bless you Robert and know that as long as you can be seen in people’s memories you will not be gone from us.

  7. Mike Walton Reply

    October 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I have just learned of Robert Blundell’s death [which occurred in March 2017] , and read about his lengthy and loyal service to Guildford, both as a councillor and as a GP. His death is indeed a very sad occasion.

    I must say that the praise I have seen heaped upon him for his work as a local elected representative does not really astonish me. It does however delight me, because I can still remember calling on him and canvassing him for the first time, and persuading him to become actively involved in (party) politics: he seemed then to be a person of great integrity and understanding, and an altogether lovely man. I was very determined to secure his active commitment.

    Saddened as I am to learn of his illness and loss, I am also delighted to learn of the extent to which he put his personal qualities and skills at the service of the community.

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