Tribute to John Bell by Chair of St Stephen Parish Council, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Kerry
John was a St Stephen Parish Councillor for over 35 years, serving as its Chair from 2008 to 2010.
John sat on a range of Parish Council Committees, including the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and was Chair of several. He led the Friends of St Julian’s Wood, a Parish initiative and was also a Council representative on the Bricket Wood Common Committee, and the St Albans Assn of Local Councils, both of which he was the current Chair. He supported the Friends of Hanstead Wood and was involved in the Ver Valley Society Action Group which he helped to found. He led the Parish Council bluebell walk every year. Never seeking the limelight, he went about his work for residents quietly, efficiently and tirelessly.
John was such an active Councillor, a doer. Totally reliable, his contributions and commitment were apparent everywhere. He supported every Parish event, setting out chairs, laying out display boards, stacking tables. He was also the man behind the camera, our unofficial Council Photographer recording every event, every green space with enthusiasm and skill. John was the man who made time for everything and everyone, ever present, ever reliable, ever willing.
John was a true gentleman, who will be greatly missed. For those of us who had the privilege to work alongside him we are forever grateful for his knowledge, his willingness to share it, but especially for his good heart, integrity and incredible level of commitment. He was a pleasure to work with and will be impossible to replace. Our community was truly fortunate to have him.
Naturally supportive he had an abundant knowledge which he was so willing to share, be it about trees and woodlands or the Councils procedures and practices. That was John, kind, supportive and encouraging.