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Tributes after death of Norfolk County Council’s longest serving councillor

PUBLISHED: 14:50 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 04 October 2018

Adrian Gunson, with plans for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Pic: Adrian Judd

Adrian Gunson, with plans for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Pic: Adrian Judd

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The longest-serving councillor in the history of Norfolk County Council has died.

Adrian Gunson pictured in 2001. Pic: Julian NichollsAdrian Gunson pictured in 2001. Pic: Julian Nicholls

Adrian Gunson’s remarkable commitment - and popularity among voters - meant he served the Loddon division at County Hall for 45 years.

He was in his late 20s when he succeeded Aubrey Shearing as Conservative councillor in April 1970, and kept representing Loddon until retiring in 2015.

For many of his 45 years at County Hall, he was the cabinet member for planning and transportation.

Under that brief, he played a key role in the building of a string of bypasses around the county.

Adrian Gunson speaking at Seething and Mundham primary school pupils opening ceremony in 2010. Pic: Andy Darnell.Adrian Gunson speaking at Seething and Mundham primary school pupils opening ceremony in 2010. Pic: Andy Darnell.

And the proposals for the £205m Norwich Northern Distributor Road, know known as the Broadland Northway, were drawn up on his watch.

He also served as chairman of the A47 Alliance.

West Norfolk-born Mr Gunson, who lived in Bedingham, near Bungay, with his wife Patricia, was made an MBE in 2010, for this services to local government.

Professionally, Mr Gunson worked as an insurance actuary for Norwich Union. He was an investment director when he retired in 1997.

He also worked as an evening class lecturer at Norwich City College.

He had been a keen tennis player until he was struck down by a degenerative disease, which led to him using a wheelchair.

In the year he stepped down as a county councillor, he was awarded the Freedom of Loddon in recognition of the work he did for the area.

He died, at the age of 78, on Tuesday.

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said Mr Gunson had got him involved in politics.

He said: “As an actuary, he brought an analytical eye to the running of planning and highways, but combined that commercial focus with an extraordinary 40 plus years dedication to the residents of Loddon division,

“Famous for his regular newsletter and purchase of home-made cakes at parish events, he was a great public servant for whom nothing was too much trouble and for whom his disability was no barrier to service.”

Margaret Stone, chairman of Norfolk County Council has sent a letter of condolence to Mrs Gunson and the flag at County Hall was flown at half-mast.

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