A former long-standing Brent councillor and “determined” man has died aged 58.
Richard Harrod was a Brent Labour councillor for 20 years and worked for many years as the lead member for housing.
His friend and fellow councillor Ann John paid tribute to him, following his death at St Luke’s Hospice, Kenton, last Wednesday.
She said: “He became a councillor in 1986 and stood down in 2006, during that time he was a leading light and his main expertise was housing. He knew his ward like the back of his hand. He was a very intelligent man and was passionate about housing.”
The former councillor survived a car accident many years ago, which left him unable to speak temporarily, and a 60 foot fall down the cliffs at Dover roughly 10 years ago. He spent a long time recovering and was told he would never walk again.
However, Ms John said: “It is testament to his determination how well he recovered. He shouldn’t have been able to walk again, but he did. He had a lot of support and encouragement from all his friends and colleagues in Brent. He was a really decent person.”
He served as a councillor in what was the St Andrews ward in Brent from 1986 until 2006, after it had become the Welsh Harp ward.
Following the fall he stood down and moved to September Way, Stanmore.
His death came as a shock to many as he had only recently been diagnosed with cancer.
Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner said: “Richard was someone who laboured under ill health for many, many years. He devoted himself to his council work and in particular housing. Many people would have retired from public life but Richard didn’t, he was always good humoured and he was a great character who gave so much to Brent.”
He also stood as a Labour candidate for Canons ward in Harrow and was heavily involved with Harrow Association of Disabled people and worked with what was then called Brent Private Tenants Rights Group, now Advice4Renters.
He was an accountant by trade and was single and played bridge each week with fellow councillors.
Navin Shah, Labour Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow said: “This is a complete shock. I got to know Richard very well recently, since he moved to Harrow, he was very strong-minded and a fully reliable comrade. He worked constantly on housing issues, which was his absolute passion and he leaves a great legacy in that area.”
His funeral is being held this morning at Bushey Jewish Cemetery.