David Southward RIP

I was sorry to learn that David Southward MBE, who was my opposite number on the county council representing Egremont, died today after a battle with cancer.

From May 2017 until the abolition of Cumbria County Council on 31st March  2023, David and myself represented respectively the Egremont division and the Egremont North & St Bees division on that council. We worked together rather better on local issues in the Egremont area than is often the case with councillors of different parties. I always found him helpful and polite, and he was often disarmingly honest to the point of being amusingly indiscreet.

David had represented the Egremont division since it was created in the 2013 boundary changes and before that had represented a previous St Bees and Egremont division.

David Southward, who devoted much of his spare time to running a youth club and supporting the church and local cricket club, was born in Maryport and lived with his parents at Flimby, until they moved to Carlisle when he was three. He attended Carlisle Grammar School before going to Imperial College, London, to study engineering.

After stints working in Australia and Romania he returned to Cumbria in 1978 and worked at Sellafield for many years. He was awarded the MBE by her late majesty the Queen in 2005 for his services to the Scouts in the village of Beckermet, and for services to the community in Beckermet in general.

Obviously there were many things that we disagreed on, but I would endorse the comment one of my colleagues this evening that David was "a true gentleman."

Rest in Peace.


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