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Guildford Freeman and Longstanding Lib Dem Councillor Dies – ‘He Will Certainly Be Missed’

Published on: 5 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 5 Sep, 2023

Hon Freeman David Goodwin

Former councillor and Honorary Freeman David Goodwin (66) died yesterday. He had been suffering with an illness for some time and did not stand in May’s GBC election. He had served at Guildford Borough council continuously from 1999 until May this year and as a county councillor from 2005 to 2021.

In a press release, Guildford’s Lib Dem party said: “It is with great sadness that Guildford Liberal Democrats announce the death of our friend and colleague, David Goodwin.

“David was an intelligent and compassionate man who cared deeply for the people of Guildford, serving them tirelessly first as a Guildford Borough Councillor for Friary & St Nicolas for 22 years and as a Surrey Council Councillor for 16 years from 2005-2021 representing the South West Guildford division.

“David was a dedicated and hardworking councillor who fought hard for his residents and the people of Guildford borough. His interests and knowledge were wide-ranging and over his years as a councillor brought about so much positive change through his work.”

Cllr David Goodwin speaking at Millmead council chamber in April 2022

Sharing her earlies memories of David, the Lib Dem’s prospective Parliamentary candidate Zöe Franklin said: “I first met David when he joined me on the doorsteps of Bellfields & Slyfield ward (then Stoke ward) when I was standing for [the borough] council in 2008.

“I was completely new to political campaigning and David freely shared his time and wisdom with me (plus many jokes along the way!) and I was pleased to win and be able to join him on Guildford Borough Council.

“A few years later I served alongside him as his deputy when he was the Liberal Democrat Group (and opposition) Leader and once again enjoyed his wisdom while witnessing up close his deep dedication to his residents, the borough and the cause of Liberal Democracy.”

“David will be missed by us and all of the Guildford Liberal Democrat team past and present. Our thoughts go out to his wife Angela and their daughter, Francesca, and all of his family and friends.”

Ciarán Doran, chair of Guildford Liberal Democrats added: “I first met David 12 years ago and his extensive knowledge and experience as a councillor was clear from the start. Throughout his time on Guildford Borough and Surrey County Councils he was a passionate advocate for the residents of his ward and right across Guildford and villages.

“David was also known for being thorough and robust in his preparation and debates, a characteristic that got things done for his residents and served him well over the years during his time as a committee member, committee chair, executive member and Liberal Democrat Group Leader.

Cllr Masuk Miah, presenting a scroll to mark the appointment of David Goodwin as an Honorary Freeman in June. David’s wife, Cllr Angela Goodwin accepted the scroll on his behalf.

“In June, it was an honour to see David made Freeman of the Borough in recognition of his tireless service and devotion to the people, charities and businesses of Guildford Borough. He will be greatly missed by myself and Lib Dem councillor colleagues past and present.”

Longstanding party colleague and fellow councillor Fiona White (SCC Guildford West, GBC Ash Wharf) said: “David has been a good friend and a colleague.  He has been generous with his time, his encyclopaedic knowledge and his wisdom.  He was someone I could turn to for help and advice. He was never too busy to help.

See also: Former Councillor David Goodwin Made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough

“I was honoured to propose him as an Honorary Freeman of Guildford earlier this year. It was a recognition of his service to his residents and the wider Guildford community and was richly deserved. He will be missed.

“I will miss his friendship and being able to talk things through with him when I have needed to.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, his daughter and his whole family.”

David Goodwin relaxing at the Onslow Arboretum last year.

Former borough and county councillor Pauline Searle who was elected at the same time as David also shared her memories: “I will certainly miss David, he has been a true and loyal friend over the many years I have known him.

“David and I were both first elected to Guildford Borough Council in 1999, and though I was a complete novice in politics, David was very knowledgeable and a great source of helpful information.

“In 2005 we both became Surrey County Councillors and I have very many happy memories of travelling together to County Hall. We always had a lot to talk about, David had an interest in a great many subjects. and we also had a similar taste in music.

“David was a very hardworking councillor and a loyal Lib Dem, a great supporter of the party. There was never a fundraiser that he was not involved in over the years, be it jumble sales, book fairs or social events

He will certainly be missed by his residents., his colleagues and many friends.

Former council leader Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Merrow) said: “We were very sorry to hear of David Goodwin’s passing, his longstanding commitment to the residents of the borough was inspiring.

“On a personal note, I remember his generosity of time when I served with him on the Licensing and Executive Committees as a newly elected and very green councillor. Our thoughts are with Angela and Francesca in this very sad time.”

Another former leader of the council, Conservative Paul Spooner said: “David was an honourable man who was always willing to provide advice and I particularly appreciated his well-informed input on licensing matters when I was lead for Licensing and then Leader of the Council.

“There will be many from across the council, past and present, who will miss David. My deepest condolences to Angela and Francesca and the Guildford Lib Dems. RIP Freeman David Goodwin.”

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Responses to Guildford Freeman and Longstanding Lib Dem Councillor Dies – ‘He Will Certainly Be Missed’

  1. Tony Rooth Reply

    September 5, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    It is very sad that David Goodwin has passed away. We spent 16 years on Guildford Borough Council and six years on the county council together.

    David was good company and did not let party politics get in the way of discussion and debate. He was a very reasonable and decent councillor who served the people of Guildford very well.

    He will be sorely missed and Guildford residents can only hope for more councillors with David’s character and positive approach to serving our borough’s best interests.

    Tony Rooth is a former Conservative, R4GV and Independent borough councillor and a former council leader.

  2. Nils Christiansen Reply

    September 5, 2023 at 11:27 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of David’s passing. He was a robust and tireless campaigner and councillor who liked to ‘get things done’ whilst clearly enjoying the political jostling.

    I always had a great deal of respect for his views and you were always confident that he had the best interests of the borough at heart. We have lost a great Guildfordian. Deepest condolences to Angela and Francesca.

    Nils Christiansen is a former Conservative and Independent borough councillor.

  3. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    September 6, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    David Goodwin was well respected as an experienced and caring councillor, one whose opinion I valued. When he spoke, in the chamber, I listened. Guildford has lost a true servant.

    My sincere condolences and those of the GGG councillors are extended to Angela Goodwin, her daughter and family at this very sad time.

    Ramsey Nagaty is a former borough councillor and former leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group.

  4. Adrian Chandler Reply

    September 15, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I am very sorry to learn of David’s passing. I fondly remember our time on GBC as Onslow councillors and valued his knowledge, experience and help with our projects. My thoughts are with Angela and Francesca.

    Adrian Chandler is a former Conservative borough councillor for Onslow.

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