F John Smith was a long standing Councillor and Council Leader at North Hertfordshire District Council and passed away on 26 December 2021.
F John Smith played a significant part in the life of Royston for many years. Throughout my time as a Member of Parliament, John Smith made an important contribution to local Government. He helped numerous local people with their problems and was someone who always went the extra mile. Hundreds of local residents had their individual problems tackled and concerns met over these years. As Leader of NHDC, he was a distinguished member of groups such as the Resource Training Services, the Regional Employers’ Organisation, the Hertfordshire Buildings Preservation Trust, the Hertfordshire Leaders’ Group and the Local Government Association.
In a personal capacity, John Smith was an early environmentalist long before it became fashionable. He campaigned on clean air issues and became Chairman of the National Society of Clean Air, which is now the Environmental Protection UK.
John Smith was born in Royston and served as a Councillor for over fifty years and during this time served on the Royston Urban District Council, North Herts District Council and Royston Town Council.
John Smith was honoured for his public service by being made an Alderman of Royston Town Council and NHDC. He also received an award from the Conservative Party for long and distinguished service.
John was also known for his great interest in Royston and its history and was a founder member of the Royston History Society and took a particular interest in the Royston Museum, where he served on the Committee and also on the Tourism Sub-Committee of Royston Town Council. John was somebody who campaigned successfully for a Blue Plaque scheme in Royston, wrote books about the town and acted as a guide on walking tours of Royston.
John also helped establish the local day centre The Barn for the elderly and disabled, where the Stroke Group still meets. He was an active volunteer there.
John served the parish church, St John the Baptist, in various roles; sidesman, lesson reader, intercessions leader and also undertook important roles in maintaining the church buildings and raising money for them.
John was the Inaugural Governor of the secondary school, Meridian School in Royston, and went on to be Chairman of Governors.
It is easy to list a whole range of titles, but this does not adequately reflect the personal commitment, strong sense of values and desire to serve which drove John Smith to do so much for his local community over so many years. John was ably supported by his late wife Ann and his daughters Lorna and Sarah.
Commenting on the passing of F John Smith, Oliver Heald said “F John Smith amade a huge contribution to the local community of Royston and North Hertfordshire. He was recognised by local residents as “Mr Royston” but also across North Hertfordshire as somebody who gave great service. He was a personal friend and I will miss him greatly as will his many friends. Our thoughts are with his daughters and family at this time.”