Tributes paid to former chair of planning

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 12 December 2012

John HerbertTributes have been paid to John Herbert, former chair of planning at the Peak District National Park Authority, who died on Sunday December 9 at the age of 70.

Professor Herbert stepped down as chair in July this year. He had been a member of the planning committee since 2007 and its chair since 2010.

Representing parishes on the Authority from 2003, the retired journalism professor lived in Sheldon near Bakewell and until recently led its Parish Meeting.

Chair of the Authority Cllr Tony Favell said: “John will be very sadly missed. He was a staunch champion on behalf of local people.

“He put up an immensely brave fight against his illness, during which he continued to make an enormous contribution to the national park which he loved so much.

“As a parish member there was no-one more conscious of the importance of the local voice being heard at the Authority. We have him to thank for a happier relationship between the planning department and local people.”

John Herbert was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1942, and worked for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. He came to Britain in 1969 to work for the BBC World Service in London where he met his wife, Margaret, who was from Sheffield.

John then went on to train journalists at the BBC and after working in broadcasting again in the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, he combined his love of broadcasting and music as head of Classic FM at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  He went on to teach journalism in Hong Kong before the couple returned to Britain, making their home in the White Peak village of Sheldon 29 years ago. He finished his career as professor of journalism at the University of Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent. The couple have twin daughters and a son.

He was elected three times by parish councils in the national park to represent them on the Authority, and was previously chair of the audit and performance committee, the Peak District Interpretation Partnership and the Sustainable Development Fund panel.

When he stepped down from the Authority this summer John said: “It has been a wonderful time and I have felt immensely privileged and proud to be part of so many things the Authority has done.

“In particular I have always championed good communications between the Authority and local communities, which have been uppermost in my mind at all times.”

John, who had been suffering from cancer, died in Ashgate Hospice, Chesterfield.

His funeral will be at Sheldon Church (St Michael & All Angels), on Friday December 21 at 1.30pm. The family would welcome all who wish to pay their respects.

This is an archived press release

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