Cherwell District Council: Long-serving councillor to step down following dementia diagnosis

The former chair of Oxfordshire County Council is to stand down from his district role to focus on battling with dementia.

By Andy Mitchell, Local Democracy Reporter
Sunday, 6th March 2022, 10:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th March 2022, 10:08 pm

Councillor Tim Hallchurch MBE (Con, Launton & Otmoor) announced that he would be resigning from Cherwell District Council in May having been diagnosed with the degenerative condition.

His service as a councillor for the county and district spans three decades and follows a lengthy career in the army where he saw active duty in countries including Ireland, Germany and Kenya as well as being awarded an MBE for humanitarian services after Black September, the civil war in Jordan in 1970.

“I will be standing down in May, mainly because I will be 82 but I have also been diagnosed with dementia,” said Cllr Hallchurch.

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Cllr Timothy Hallchurch MBE (Con, Launton & Otmoor) announced that he would be resigning from Cherwell District Council in May having been diagnosed with the degenerative condition. (Image from Cherwell District Council)

“Thank you to all of you for your support over the past 20-odd years and thank you to the public for electing me.”

Leader Councillor Barry Wood (Con, Fringford & Heyfords) and leader of the opposition Councillor Sean Woodcock (Lab, Banbury Ruscote) were among the many to wish him well, while fellow ward member Councillor David Hughes (Con, Launton & Otmoor) paid tribute to his service.

“Tim is a councillor who joined about the time that I did, quite a few years ago now, and there are people you meet in life who act as a kind of intervention,” he said.

“His professionalism, integrity, wit and charm in everything he has said and done has made him an absolute pleasure to work with. We stand with you, let us know what is going on and how we can help.”

Councillor Perran Moon (Lab, Banbury Grimsbury & Hightown) said: “We sit on different sides of the chamber but you have served the council with distinction and I wish you all the very best.”

Councillor Ian Middleton (Green, Kidlington East) said: “I have had some experience of the same condition, not personally but through members of my family. It is a terrible thing but there is hope that it can be dealt with and I wish you well.”

Cllr Hallchurch’s seat had been due to be contested in 2023.

Cherwell District Council confirmed he has yet to formally resign but when he does, the vacancy will be advertised and if two requests are received then a by-election will take place.

If a by-election is called and that happens in time, the council would look to combine it with the local elections that are scheduled to take place on May 5 this year.