Tributes continue to come in for ‘inspirational, remarkable and knowledgeable’ leader of Herts County Council, Robert Gordon, after his death from cancer

Robert Gordon CBE who passed away on Friday.

Robert Gordon CBE who passed away on Friday. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have continued to come in for the “inspirational” leader of Hertfordshire County Council Robert Gordon CBE after he passed away unexpectedly on Friday.

The council issued a statement to its members on Friday afternoon saying the long-serving councillor had passed away “peacefully” after battling cancer.

David Williams, the council’s deputy leader, said: “I am so saddened at this news. Rob was a wonderful colleague, hugely respected locally and nationally and a public servant in the truest sense of the word. Robert made Hertfordshire the county of opportunity and worked relentlessly to achieve this. He will be sorely missed by all those he knew.”

The council’s chairman, Richard Thake, added: “We have suffered such a terrible loss for the whole county. He was a remarkable man, who used his immense knowledge of Hertfordshire, to work tirelessly and deliver cost effective services. Everyone, who had the privilege of working with him, fully understood the huge contribution he made for the whole county.”

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, speaking on behalf of the Liberal Democrat group at the council, said: “Rob’s passing is not only a sad loss for his friends and family but he was also a true champion for Hertfordshire. Whilst we may have been political opponents, he was always someone you could talk with to reach agreement on common issues to improve and protect the county.”

Judi Billing, speaking on behalf of the Labour Group added: “I was shocked and tremendously sad to hear of the death of Rob Gordon on Friday afternoon. He and I were, of course, poles apart in our political beliefs and world picture but I had tremendous admiration for his quiet and considered style of leadership, his personal kindness to me at a very difficult time in my life, and mostly for his genuine commitment to local government and the role of elected councillors.”

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire who served as Mr Gordon’s deputy leader on HCC from 2007 to 2012 issued a statement today saying: “Rob was a great friend and an inspirational leader for Hertfordshire from whom I learned so much. His passing will come as a shock to many and I will miss him dearly. We will never quite fill the hole that he has left behind – but his memorial is a county shaped to his plan and seen as one of the best places to live and work in the country.

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“My thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this sad time.”

The flag at county hall is flying at half mast as a mark of respect to Mr Gordon who was first elected to the council in 1989 and held cabinet posts for education, children’s services and resources and performance before becoming the council’s leader in 2007.

Mr Gordon had represented Goffs Oak and Bury Green wards as a county councillor since 2009.

He received a CBE from the Queen in 2012 for his services to local government.

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