Sutton’s Mayor Councillor Richard Clifton has issued the following statement following the death of former councillor and Mayor John Dodwell.

The Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Richard Clifton, said:

“I am sorry to inform you of the sad news that former councillor and Mayor John Dodwell has passed away after a short illness.

“John was a civil engineer who devoted most of his retirement years to community service in the London Borough of Sutton. He served for 12 years as ward councillor for Wallington North from 1994 to 2006 and was Mayor of Sutton in 2002-03.

“John had a particular interest in education issues, serving on a number of council education bodies and committees, and was Chair of the Education Committee in 1998-99.

“One of the highlights of his busy year as Mayor was his opening of the new Sutton Arena (now David Weir Leisure Centre) in which he emphasised the importance of the centre to the local community. On that occasion he played host to the official guest, world champion hurdler Colin Jackson.

“On his retirement from Sutton Council, John continued to play an active role in community affairs. He was Chair of the Friends of Beddington Park and played a major part in helping to secure £3m from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds to restore and upgrade the park.

“John was very committed to the voluntary sector and also championed many projects to make improvements to the local area. An active Catholic, he took a keen interest in housing and homelessness issues.

“John will be sorely missed by his many friends in the voluntary sector to which he gave so much support. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anne and his family at this sad time.”