Chelmsford City Council’s chief executive Steve Packham has died.
The local authority confirmed today the 66-year-old had passed away “following a battle with lung cancer”.
Mr Packham had been Chelmsford’s chief executive for 13 years. Prior to that, he was Maldon DC’s chief executive for three years.
Chelmsford’s leader Roy Whitehead (Con) said: “Steve’s death is a terrible loss for everyone at Chelmsford City Council. He has been an extremely hard working public figure and even during his illness he attended events and meetings and participated with his usual enthusiasm and determination.
“He was my friend and I really enjoyed working with him for all of the 14 years that I have been leader of the city council. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
As a mark of respect, the flag at Chelmsford City Council’s offices will fly at half-mast until the day after his funeral – a date has not yet been announced for when that will take place.
There is also a book of condolence, in Civic Centre’s reception, which is open to the public for those who wish to sign it.
Essex CC chief executive Gavin Jones paid tribute to Mr Packham. He said: “Steve was an inspiring, passionate and determined chief executive, who worked tirelessly for the people of the Chelmsford borough for many years, and will surely be remembered for helping Chelmsford to win city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
“Our thoughts are with Steve’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time .”