GRAHAM PARKES 1945 - 2023

Published: 02 February 2023

Graham Parkes – This month we were made aware of the very sad news that Former Cllr, Graham Parkes, has passed away.
Graham gave many years continuous service to this Parish Council. He was first elected in 1991, and was continuously re-elected, representing wards in the Butts Ash Area where he lived, until he stepped down in 2019 after 28 years serving his Community. He also served on New Forest District Council for 8 Years representing the ward of Furzedown from 2003 to 2011.
Graham’s contribution to this Council was immense, and he was a very proactive, hardworking Councillor who took the role seriously and gave it everything. He was 'Mr Planning', and chaired the Parish Planning Committee for many years ensuring Councillors focused on planning rules and facts. He cared very deeply about Hythe’s conservation area and the Parish’s unique and charming architecture. His guidance, knowledge and leadership was hugely influential and valued by his fellow Councillors.
Graham chaired and led the Neighbourhood Plan group and his hard work and attention to detail were integral in the plan getting voted through and accepted by the community.
Graham’s legacy for this Council is clear, but he also leaves a legacy for the wider Community. He has been at the forefront of sharing and educating us all on the fascinating history and heritage of where we live. He chaired and ran the Waterside Heritage Society, wrote several books and articles on the history of our Parish and of course, he was a proactive and enthusiastic member of the Hythe and Dibden Twinning Association, which still remains today.
Most will know Graham from the Community Centre, at the heart of much in our Parish and a facility he has run for since I was a young child, and we are grateful for his dedication and hard work in running this valued Community asset. Graham was a 'Do'er' and was not especially Political, he put Hythe and Dibden first.
Graham’s commanding voice, infectious booming laugh and wise words remain fond memories, and he was always willing to offer advice to new Councillors, I was grateful for this when I joined the Council in 2007.
Our thoughts are with his Wife, Five Children, and all his Family and Friends at this time.
As is our protocol following the passing of a Former Councillor, we will be lowering the flag at the Grove to mark his Funeral on Saturday 4th February .
Graham will be missed.