Service set to remember popular Maurice Skilton

Maurice Skilton
Maurice Skilton

A SERVICE to commemorate the life of Eastbourne politician Maurice Skilton, who passed away earlier this year, will be held this week.

The service takes place on Tuesday September 6 at St Mary’s Church in Old Town at 3pm and members of the public are welcome to go along to pay their respects.

The popular Liberal Democrat campaigner and former councillor died on May 17 at the age of 90.

He was described as an inspiration and a true friend to Eastbourne.

Mr Skilton, known as Smiler, was brought up in Old Town and first became a councillor in 1961.

He served until 2006 with just a one year break in that time, served as mayor for two terms and twice as deputy mayor. He also served as leader of the council for the four years between 1984 and 1988.

Mr Skilton was also an East Sussex county councillor, vice chairman and chairman of the county council.

He was awarded the MBE in the 1998 New Year’s Honours’ List for services to the community in East Sussex and honoured with the Freedom of the Borough of Eastbourne at a special ceremony at the Town Hall in 2008.

He played a lead role in significant developments and events such as Eastbourne Park, the annual Horse Show, and the International Children’s Conference, the latter in partnership with UNICEF and first held in 1995 in Eastbourne.

He also worked with many local voluntary and charitable groups including the Old Town Library, Beachy Head Countryside Centre and Open Door.

After his death politicians from all parties described him as a kind man with a sense of humour and fun, a passionate campaigner and an inspiration to young politicians. Civic dignitaries and former mayors are expected to attend the ceremony.