TRIBUTES have poured in for a well-known and popular former Weymouth councillor who gave his life to serving residents and his community, after he died suddenly at his home.

A Labour councillor for 24 years at the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Andy Hutchings has been remembered as a passionate community representative who worked tirelessly for the people of the area.

The 73-year-old died at his home on Friday, September 11. 

In recent years, he was an Honorary Alderman at the council and a governor at Dorset County Hospital.

Mr Hutchings attempted to re-enter local politics and competed for the Westham North seat at last year’s elections for Weymouth Town Council but came fourth. 

His brother, Professor Graham Hutchings, of Cardiff University, said he took a 'very active interest in everything' and was passionate about his work as a councillor. 

Dorset Echo: Andy Hutchings was a Labour councillor for 24 years and was involved in charities and various local organisationsAndy Hutchings was a Labour councillor for 24 years and was involved in charities and various local organisations

He said: “We will miss him greatly and he was a lively character. 
“In terms of community support, he worked hard to do anything for anyone. 

“He did so many things for the community. A lot of people benefited from his work.

“He was part of Weymouth. He was extremely well known and loved. He never said a bad word about anyone.

“He was much loved by so many people and we as a family are grateful for that.”

Outside of his work in local politics, he was known for his keen interest in history and his involvement with Bristol to Weymouth Rail Partnership and Friends of Upwey Station.

Along with Geoffrey Pritchard, they wrote two books together including ‘Weymouth & Portland Then and Now’, which was published in 2013.

Mr Pritchard, a retired senior committee administrator at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said Mr Hutchings 'gave his life for the interests of his community'.

He added: “He was respected by members across all parties and officers and he always checked his facts before speaking at meetings.

“He was very active in representing his constituents. He did that very consciously. 

Dorset Echo: Andy Hutchings was a widely known and well respected councillor in the Weymouth areaAndy Hutchings was a widely known and well respected councillor in the Weymouth area

“He knew what he was talking about and he did his research beforehand and it is far to say that he was always listened to.” 

A spokesman for South Dorset Labour said: "He was a councillor in Weymouth for many years and had a great deal of friends in and out of politics, whom he cared for very much.

“Andy was loyal and was committed to the values of the Labour Party. He was always happy to debate with anyone and point out the errors of their ways!

“Despite age and ill health curtailing his activism, he still attended Labour Party meetings and was in his element challenging councillors and Labour Party officers.

“Andy was a larger-than-life character who will be sorely missed in Weymouth."

'He will be greatly missed'

Dorset Echo: Andy Hutchings had a "keen interest" in local history including steam trainsAndy Hutchings had a "keen interest" in local history including steam trains

Mr Hutchings was also involved in fundraising for charities, namely Cancer Research and Weldmar Hospicecare.

Caroline Nickinson, vice president and former director of fundraising at Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, described him as a “gentleman” who “filled his life with helping other people.”

She said: “Andy was a great supporter of Weldmar Hospicecare over many years and took a real interest in its work. 

“He was always pleased to help whenever he could at fundraising events and through his book.  He will be greatly missed throughout the community. 

“He was a gentleman in every sense of the word”.

Olive Carroll, former chairman at Cancer Research’s Weymouth branch, said he will be “greatly missed by the Town and by all who knew him”.

She added: “Andy was a hardworking and dedicated supporter of Cancer Research UK here in Weymouth. 

“For many years he was heavily involved on the local charity Committee and helped organise eighteen Royal Marine Band concerts at the Pavilion raising thousands of pounds for the charity.”

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