Home   Newmarket   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Memorial planned for long-serving councillor Terry Waters, of West Row, near Mildenhall, who has died aged 81

A memorial service is being planned for a long-serving local councillor who has died aged 81.

Terry Waters, who died peacefully on March 9 at his home in West Row, was a larger-than-life figure who held the Forest Heath District Council seat of Eriswell and The Rows for the Conservative party for many years.

Always popular among residents as a generous man to local organisations, Mr Waters often expressed controversial views in a way which got him into trouble with officials and other councillors.

Terry Waters launched a defibrillator outside The Bell Pub in Barton Mills in 2017. Picture: Mecha Morton
Terry Waters launched a defibrillator outside The Bell Pub in Barton Mills in 2017. Picture: Mecha Morton

In April 2005 he was suspended from the council for nine months for making false accusations about a planning officer in a letter to senior council members and staff which suggested that the officer in question was ‘in cahoots’ with developers.

Mr Waters apologised for causing offence and said he was ‘an old country boy’ with little formal education and sometimes had difficulty expressing himself. His statements had been misconstrued, he said.

He returned to his council duties, but finally quit the council altogether in August 2009 when facing a disciplinary hearing into complaints made against him, claiming he would not have got a fair hearing.

Mr Waters, who always denied any wrongdoing, said: “I feel I can serve my community and the people who elected me better as an ordinary member of the public where at least I will be free to speak my mind.”

His son James followed him as a member of Forest Heath District Council. He was voted in as leader of the council in 2011 and four years later re-elected for a second term. He also served on the West Suffolk Council.

James was also one of three new board members voted on to the influential Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership in 2014.

Mr Waters, a farmer, was formerly the owner of the Mildenhall Stadium, home to the Fen Tigers speedway team with a first track built in 1971 on land he owned followed by a second in 1973. Initially the tracks were used for training until 1975 when the Mildenhall team entered the New National League Division Two.

Described by his family as ‘A dearly loved husband, dad, grandad and friend to many who will be sadly missed’, Mr Waters will have a private family funeral next month and a memorial service at a later date.