Having known Councillor ‘Chippy’ Lees long before he was elected in May 2000, I know how big a void his passing will create.
Whether it was a ‘kata guruma’ or ‘Osoto Gari’ on the judo mat or a curve ball question in the Council Chamber, it came from the heart and you knew in both cases that he wouldn’t take a step backwards.
A man of few words but great passion and integrity, ‘Chippy’ had a yearning for the ‘good old days’. While some of these views may be frowned upon in the 21st century, they contributed to who ‘Chippy’ was and what was important to him. He was incredibly comfortable with who he was and what he was – always ‘Chippy’ to the staff, never Cllr Lees. He was liked and respected for being straight, honest and unpretentious.
I personally will miss our ‘sparring’……those exchanges that only people who have served in the armed forces understand. There will be those who will miss him for other reasons; he touched the lives of many people in different ways and for different reasons but always as ‘Chippy’.
RIP the little man with a big heart.
Anthony Goodwin, Chief Executive, Tamworth Borough Council