Tributes have been paid to a former long serving councillor who was admired for both the
humour and gravitas he brought to council meetings.
Dermot Poston, who was first elected to serve for Greenwich council in 1968, passed away last week after bravely battling cancer.
Tributes have been paid to the Conservative councillor who served on the council for more than 40 years, with two short breaks, by people from across the political divide.
Labour politicians expressing condolences included MP for Eltham Clive Efford and council leader Denise Hyland.
Mr Poston, who stood down from representing Eltham North in 2014, was the only
remaining councillor to have served under a Conservative-led administration at
Woolwich Town Hall.
Mr Poston, who had also served as a magistrate and had worked as the head of sixth form at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in New Cross, brought his experience of these roles to the council chamber. In his constituency he was heavily involved with the work of the Eltham United Charities which offers homes for the homeless and the restoration of Severndroog Castle. Borough-wide he played a major role in the regeneration of Greenwich from his role on the planning board.
Long-term colleague Cllr Spencer Drury, a former leader of Greenwich Conservatives, told The Mercury: “Dermot will be missed enormously. He was first elected in 1968, the very last time the Conservatives won the council elections in Greenwich and was the last councillor to have experienced Greenwich not run by the Labour group.
“It is a measure of how highly respected he was that his retirement dinner was attended by Mr Efford and former Eltham Conservative MP Peter Bottomley, as well as Labour councillors.
“Dermot had a great old fashioned sense of responsibility which informed his role as a councillor – when he first became a councillor, the role was undertaken without payment – and so he did it very much for the love of it and the community.
“He brought great gravitas to the proceedings but also great humour. He made the most amazing passionate speeches that people would really sit up and listen to.”
Mr Poston, of Eltham Park Gardens, leaves his wife Jenny, children Tom and Rachel, and his grandchildren.