Tributes pour in after Haywards Heath councillor Tim Farmer dies of cancer

Tim Farmer with his wife and two daughters
Tim Farmer with his wife and two daughters

Tributes have poured in for an ‘amazing’ husband and father and ‘superb’ councillor who has died after a year long battle with cancer.

Tim Farmer, a Haywards Heath town councillor and Mid Sussex district councillor since 2011, died aged 43 last Wednesday (August 6) of oesophageal cancer.

Tim Farmer

Tim Farmer

His wife, Karen, said: “He had a battle with cancer for a year. It was a battle he hoped he would win, he was such a positive person, always really determined.

“Tim was an amazing husband and best daddy to our two daughters aged seven and nine. He was a wonderful son and brother. He was such a positive person and a doer in life. I was incredibly proud of him.”

Tim represented the Lucastes and Bolnore Ward for both councils, and was also a full time pilot for EasyJet.

His wife continued: “Despite his terrible diagnosis he carried on working tirelessly for both the town and district Council, a sign of his determination and in true Tim spirit.

A 'cure cancer bangle' given to Tim by his daughter

A 'cure cancer bangle' given to Tim by his daughter

“He was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in July 2013 and sadly lost his battle 12 months later at home aged 43. He had so much more to give and share and the tributes on Facebook and Twitter say it all.”

Karen added she was most touched by tributes describing Tim as having terrific judgement, being a natural leader and a gentleman who ‘had the rare ability to see through the fog of debate and crystallise solutions’.

Sir Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, tweeted: “The death of Tim Farmer robs our community of a wise energetic effective leader. He was a real contributor to the battle of life. RIP”

On his Twitter page Tim described himself as ‘Conservative Cllr, Airline Pilot, Cancer patient, Glass Half Full’.

Tim Farmer with his two daughters

Tim Farmer with his two daughters

He regularly posted about his cancer, sharing a picture of ‘My daughters Fathers day/Cancer Cure bangle. Love them. #thatsmydad #timscancer’.

On June 9 he posted ‘2 week update- brain metastasis Op – >50% vision loss, scar healing well & feeling positive for next stage of Chemo #timscancer’ and on June 16 ‘Day of scans at @royalmarsden love the positivity at this hospital, so refreshing. #timscancer’.

On Juse 15 Tim posted: “My daughters Fathers day /Cancer Cure bangle. Love them. #thatsmydad #timscancer.”

Tim was leader of the town council, developing the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan and the early stages of the Town Team, whilst he was vice chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee and chairman of the Scrutiny Committee for Planning and Economic Development.

Haywards Heath town mayor, Sandy Ellis, said: “Tim was a passionate and dedicated councillor and leader. He held all the qualities and characteristics that made us naturally look up to him.

“He inspired and motivated people with his calm, composed and humorous nature.

“Tim has left many legacies in the town through his hard work and commitment to his role as a councillor. He has also left us personally with some great memories of a real team member, friend and colleague and will be sorely missed by us all. It was an honour and pleasure working along side him.”

Tim was a member of Bolnore School Group Committee who made Bolnore Village Primary School the first school to be founded by a parent/committee group, where he also served two years as vice chair of governors.

Founder of the committee, Julia Bunting Thring spoke of when she first met Tim at a meeting about setting up the school.

“Tim Farmer who was standing at the back of the room was the first to put his hand up and just said ‘count me in!’. His positive can-do attitude continued through all the ups and downs of our journey. The contribution he made was not only for his own daughters but for all the children of Bolnore now and for generations to come. We will ensure his legacy will live on through the school.”

Councillor John Belsey said: “We’ve lost a top councillor and a family man who was a great, loyal friend to us all. A very sad day.”

Councillor Johnathan Ash-Edwards said: “Terribly sad that Tim Farmer has lost his lost his fight with cancer today. A great guy and superb Cllr who will be leaving a huge hole in people’s lives.