It is with great sadness that we can confirm former Mayor and Honorary Alderman Bernard Parke passed away last night (Tuesday 26 February).

Bernard was first elected to Guildford Borough Council in 1979 for Onslow Ward and served as a councillor for 12 years until 1991. He served on a number of committees, including the Arts and Recreation Committee (from 1979 to 1991); the Building and Works Committee (from 1979 to 1984 and from 1987 to 1989 – when he was Vice-Chairman); the Planning Committee (from 1984 to 1991); the Finance and Performance Sub-Committee (from 1980 to 1989); the Licensing and Transport Sub-Committee (from 1987 to 1989) and the Allotments Sub-Committee. Bernard was Mayor of Guildford in 1989-90.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, said today: “Bernard’s community involvement and commitment to the Council was considerable, and the title of Honorary Alderman was given to Bernard in recognition of this. He represented Onslow Ward with dedication and will be remembered for his contribution to the borough and the residents of Onslow ward in particular. On a personal level I enjoyed the regular exchange of communication with Bernard and I will hold fond memories of our meetings together, particularly involving local media. Bernard really will be very sadly missed. He was truly a community minded man of conviction.”

During his time as councillor, Bernard represented the Council on many external organisations including Court of the University of Surrey, Guildford Area Highways Sub-Committee, Guildford & District Voluntary Service Overseas Committee, Guildford/Freiburg Association Executive Committee, Guildford Road Safety Advisory Sub-Committee, Guildford County Secondary School (governor), Onslow County First School (governor) and the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Trust.

On 22 March 2000, the Council conferred the title of Honorary Alderman on Bernard in recognition of his eminent service rendered to the Council both as a councillor and as past mayor of the borough.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.