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Heathcock to be made Alderman in recognition of long service

July 10, 2013 10:37 AM

Veteran former Councillor, Geoff Heathcock, who served Cambridge residents for 20 years, is to be made an Alderman of the county as recognition of his long service.

Cllr Heathcock was first elected to represent the city's Queen Edith's ward on Cambridgeshire County Council in May 1993 and held the seat through four elections until his retirement in May this year.

As a new councillor, he joined the council's Social Services Committee and a lifetime's interest in the fire service also led him to become a member of the Fire and Public Protection Committee.

Later he was to become Liberal Democrat leader on the newly-formed Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority and a spokesman for the party on social services.

After some time spent as the party's transport spokesman, he became chairman of the council's Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, a position he held twice.

As a leading authority on health and social care in the county, he chaired the scrutiny process into the future of Huntingdon's Hinchingbrooke Hospital and took a lead role in a significant review of mental health services.

Cllr Heathcock also took part in out of county reviews into stroke service provision and, more recently the whole reorganisation and delivery of mental health services when the decision was taken to remove beds for psychiatric patients at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

His drive to give Cambridgeshire residents the best health and social care that could be provided led him to become Lib Dem health spokesperson and he challenged NHS trusts across the county on a wide range of issues.

Cllr Heathcock said: "I am delighted to receive this recognition of my long service. I have enjoyed representing the people of Queen Edith's and the county generally and I can't thank them enough for their support over the years.

"I have been fortunate to be given the chance to pursue the areas of council work in which I have an interest and, although I have retired I will continue to fight in any way I can to make sure the people of Cambridgeshire get the health and social care they deserve."

Cllr Heathcock will receive his new title at Cambridgeshire County Council's meeting on July 16.