Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a dedicated councillor, selfless servant of the Hindhead, Beacon Hill and Haslemere community and award-winning NHS audiologist, Geoff Whitby.

The flag outside Haslemere town hall was lowered to half mast on Monday last week to mark the death of Councillor Whitby after a short illness.

Cllr Whitby initially served as a town councillor in the mid-1990s before being returned again to represent the Hindhead ward at the town council in 2019.

Fellow Lib Dem councillor John Robini has expressed his shock at the death of his colleague, while paying tribute to his dedication to the community.

Cllr Robini said: “Cllr Whitby loved being part of the community representing Hindhead and Beacon Hill on the Haslemere Town Council.

“He was active in leading and supporting local organisations such as the Beacon Hill Focus, Whitmore Vale Housing Association and the Haslemere Active Travel Group, recently becoming a governor at Beacon Hill Primary School.

“He was often seen cycling round the area enjoying being both on and off the road, attending most meetings on his bicycle. He was always cheerful, and supportive of local issues.

“But this was only part of his dedication to the community. He was an audiologist working for the NHS at Kingston Hospital. He worked throughout the Covid pandemic in the intensive care wards.

“The British Academy of Audiology made him the Audiologist of the Year due to his versatility and work with Covid patients, of which Kingston Hospital were very proud.

“He was very fit, being a dedicated cyclist, several times completing the London to Brighton ride, Ride London and the Cape Aros ride in Cape Town, raising money for various charities, including the Royal British Legion, at these events.

“Geoff will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow councillors across the Haslemere area. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife and family.”

Haslemere town clerk Lisa O’Sullivan added: “Geoff had lived with his wife in Beacon Hill for over 30 years and was very proud to represent the residents of that area.

“His love of cycling enabled him to explore the area at length, and also gave him a good insight into the state of the roads and natural environment. He had a real passion for local people and issues, and his contribution will be sadly missed.”