Tributes paid to parish council caretaker – a ‘big man with a big heart’

Phil Hewett with his partner Elaine

Phil Hewett with his partner Elaine - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a council caretaker described as a “big man with a big heart”.

Phil Hewett, who had been the caretaker for Wymondley Parish Council since 2007, died on May 21 of pancreatic and liver cancer at the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth GC.

The 48-year-old, from Little Wymondley, also did litter picking for Codicote Parish Council.

Speaking about his brother, Ian Hewett, the eldest of four siblings, said: “He was a big man with a big heart. He would speak to anyone whether they were rich or poor and he turned his hand to anything.

“He was a joker. If he came over the heating would be turned up, or your shoes would go missing, or he would rearrange the fruit bowl. Sometimes my wife would cook him a meal and he would pop by and pick it up from the doorstep – we have had about 200 dishes that have gone missing over the years.”

Mr Hewett, who was born on Christmas Day in 1965, was raised in Stevenage and later moved to St Ippolyts.

Wymondley Parish Council clerk Melanie Grenyer has also paid tribute to him. She said: “Having worked closely with Mr Hewett in my role as clerk to the parish council, I can say that he was simply a lovely man and a real character. He often passed on to me conversations he had had with residents of the parish, reporting odd jobs that needed attention, as he was well known as a contact with the parish council.

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“He took pride in his work and was quick to report any fly-tipping he spotted while he was out and about, which helped to keep the villages looking neat.

“It is a measure of his thoughtfulness and commitment to his friends in the parish that, before he died, he requested that the parish council had access to his flat to use the electricity to help with the requirements of the forthcoming event. He had done this in previous years, and he generously wanted to continue to offer this help, even though he could not be there himself.

“Several of the councillors had known Mr Hewett for many years. We will miss him very much.”

Mr Hewett is survived by partner Elaine, his three brothers Ian, David and Brian, and his two sons Joe and Ben, who both live in Codicote.

Mr Hewett’s funeral will be held at midday next Thursday, June 12, at St Ippolyts Church. The family have requested that no flowers be sent, but donations to Garden House Hospice would be welcomed.