Former Brent councillor dies at the age of 58
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid by former colleagues of an ex-Brent councillor who has died at the age of 58.
Richard Harrod, who served as a Labour councillor between 1986-2006 for St Andrews ward which became the Welsh Harp, died after months of fighting kidney cancer.
Cllr Janice Long, who represents the Harlesden ward, spoke to the Times about the lost of a dear friend of 20 years.s.
Reminiscing on the regular strolls they used to embark on at walking hotspots outside the capital, Ms Long added: “He was a jolly man who always had a smile on his face. “He was a great one for laughter and jokes.”
During his tenure, Mr Harrod, an accountant, served as a lead member for housing during which he oversaw major regeneration in the borough including the Chalkhill Estate in Wembley..
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Ms Long continued: “He did a great deal for housing in the borough, particular in the private rented sector.
“He stood up for private tenants before it was fashion to do so.”
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“It is disappointing that he had to die so early.
“He is gone but will never been forgotten.”
Mr Harrod was actively involved in supporting private renting tenants, after stepping down as councillor in 2006, despite suffering horrific injuries after falling off a cliff in Dover the previous year.
A tenacious councillor by trade, Mr Harrod was also fond of a game or two of bridge according to Cllr Patricia Harrison.
Cllr Harrison, who represents the Preston ward said: “I used to play bridge with him once a week – he was very good at playing.”
She added: “He was a warm, friendly person who you really got on well with and had a very good sense of humour.
“I feel absolutely devastated, really upset because he was such a good friend.”
Cllr Ann John, who represents the Harlesden ward,
“I remember him very fondly. I remember the leisure time as well as the time in the office.
“He was a good friend and a thoroughly decent man.
“He will be missed.”
He was an active volunteer of Private Tenants Advice Centre on Willesden Lane up until his tragic death.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said “Richard Harrod was a strong advocate for the rights of disabled people and those renting privately in our borough.
“He was an upstanding man, admired by the community for his strength of conviction.
“It is a sad day to have lost someone who felt so passionately about the quality of life of Brent residents, and he’ll be sorely missed.”