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Tributes to former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy

PUBLISHED: 18:25 26 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:59 27 October 2019

Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy .
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy . PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

Tributes have been paid to former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy, who has died aged 68.

Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy was described as a Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy was described as a "powerhouse".Photo: Steve Adams

Mr Murphy was leader at County Hall from 2010 to 2013 and represented the Freebridge division in King's Lynn from 2009-2013.

He died on Saturday at his home after bravely fighting an aggressive brain tumour over recent months. He leaves his devoted and beloved wife Janet.

His former colleague Ian Mackie, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member of finance, led tributes and said: "He was a remarkable individual.

"In the three years that we worked together we never had one argument,

Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy has died aged 68.Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy has died aged 68.

"I have some wonderful memories of working with Derrick. Above all else he wanted Norfolk to have the best, and be the best, and despite the challenges, he leaves an enormous legacy to the Norfolk economy. My thoughts and prayers are of course with his beloved wife, Janet."

Mr Mackie added: "When Derrick was elected to the county council in 2009 you knew we had an intellectual powerhouse join us.

"Derrick was determined to accelerate and transform the development Norfolk's economic infrastructure at a time of considerable national financial strain.

"Derrick was soon to spearhead a number of significant campaigns, some in partnership with the EDP, such as the Make it Marham and Better Broadband for Norfolk."

Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy (front row centre) has died aged 68.  He is pictured with former cabinet colleagues.Former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy (front row centre) has died aged 68. He is pictured with former cabinet colleagues.

South West Norfolk MP and international trade secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "Derrick worked hard with me on key campaigns like the dualling of the A11 and helping to secure the long term future of RAF Marham. My thoughts are very much with his family and friends at this sad time."

During his career at the council, Mr Murphy backed the successful dualling of the A11, established the A47 Alliance and progressed the Northern Distributor Road.

He also helped with the launch of Norse Care and initiated the Norfolk's Armed Forces Community Covenant.

In 2013 Mr Murphy resigned as chairman of the Conservative group and leader after being found to have breached the council's code of conduct at a standards hearing.

He also announced he would not be standing again as a councillor.

Mr Murphy studied at UEA in the 1970s, where he met his wife, and also studied at the University of London.

He was an historian and prolific author, writing and editing books with over half a million global sales.

Mr Murphy's career was in education, advising the governments of Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong.

He was chief examiner for history for both AQA and OCR Examination Boards and was also a manager for senior rugby union teams.

On leaving the county council, both he and his wife retired to Herefordshire, where he developed a passion for alpacas.

Mr Murphy maintained his love of literature and history, and speaking to students at the Hereford Sixth Form College.

He was also a huge supporter of local charities, using his extensive people and sporting network to help the St Michael's Hospice in Hereford.

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