Chris Black 1958 – 2017




It is with regret I must tell Focus readers that our ‘admin’ Chris Black, suddenly passed away last night.

Our thoughts are with his wife and son at this difficult time.

Chris touched many peoples lives in his 30+ years as a Councillor and remained a popular candidate for the voters.

He has always had something interesting to ‘post’ and I, like many, waited patiently for the next ‘installment’ on onlinefocus.

Here’s some interesting facts about Chris which I have taken from the District Councils website


Chris is Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.
Chris was born in Rochford Hospital in 1958 and grew up in Rayleigh, attending Glebe, Downhall and Sweyne Schools, and then SEEVIC and Sussex University.
For many decades my grandfather and uncle owned “Manns the Grocers” in Rayleigh High Street.
I live with my wife, son and a black cat halfway up Love Lane, and my “real” job is in shipping.
Favourite real politician: David Penhaligon (
Favourite fictional politician: Dave Kovic (
I don’t have “surgeries” – but I am always happy to go to people’s homes.




I will post further details when I have them available and as requested by the family

Thank you, Chris, for everything you did for the residents of Rayleigh, you will be missed.


About the author, Editor

  • Such sad news
    Chris worked tirelessly for the issues affecting local residents, often very much unseen. He provided a great deal of support helping people negotiate difficult situations.
    He was a man of true integrity, who spoke the truth and didn’t waver from this.
    He was certainly one of a kind and will be sadly missed from the community.
    Thoughts are with his family.

  • I write as Chairman of the Conservative Association and it will be no surprise that Chris and I had differing views on many subjects. However, I always found him to be a very reasonable and friendly gentleman. I was very sad to hear the news earlier today and my thoughts are with his wife and son.

  • Chris Black was a champion for the people of Rayleigh who fought for Liberal Democrat values over many years. I know his sad loss will be felt by many people in the local community particularly those he has helped with by offering advice and support in their time of need. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and son at this very sad time.

  • As a community Rawreth has lost a great friend . He has supported the Parish Council over many years . We send our condolences and love to Elaine and his son . RIP ,a job well done but sadly unfinished and a big void in many people’s lives .

  • I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chris Black has passed away. He was an excellent representative for the local community and will be sadly missed. My thoughts go to his family at this sad time.

  • Chris was a true stalwart of the Liberal Democrats in Rayleigh, loyally serving the residents of his Downhall & Rawreth Ward and indeed all the people of Rayleigh. He was highly intelligent, totally trustworthy and very hard working. At a time when many people are cynical about politicians I never heard a bad word said about him. Time and again, as the news of his death spread, I have heard people poignantly refer to Chris as “that lovely man”. He diligently served our town as District Councillor from a relatively young age after coming home from university in the 1980s right up to the present day. He was a kind family man always thinking about his wife Elena (who loyally put up with his absence at many Council meetings over the years), and son Alex of whom he was very proud. In earlier times he cared for his late Mother who herself was widowed at a young age. I am so proud to have known Chris, he was a great man, caring and generous to everyone.
    Steve Tellis
    Chair of the local Liberal Democrats

  • Very Sad to Hear of Chris’s passing. I always found him to be a likable and effective councillor who made a very positive contribution to the work of the Rochford District Council. He was respected by all for his hard work on behalf of his constituents. Rayleigh and Rochford District Council will be diminished by his loss!

    David Flack – Former Labour Group Leader and Chair Rayleigh and Wickford Constituency Labour Party

  • Very shocked and sad about the passing of Chris he was a good man and a first class Councillor. He is a big loss to the community he served and to the council. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. May he rest in peace.

  • We have known about this since shortly after it happened,but we have’nt previously posted because, frankly, we are
    completely stunned and very sad as it is so unfair that such a good man should go so early in life.
    Chris represented the very highest standards of public life , even in a world where such ‘standards’ are in decline he
    maintained his principles , a big loss to us all in his Ward and the District Council he served so well for so long.
    Our thoughts are with his family and close friends , rest in peace Chris…………Jim & Pat.

  • June and I first worked with Chris Black in 1996 forming the new Town Council. We worked again together on the District Council from 2002 and in my case for the next 12 years.
    His dedication to residents is well recorded but he was an expert on planning law and would always help a new councilor when asked. He was a brilliant debater. He was not a controlling leader of the group and was generous. He allowed me to represent the Liberal view on the working party considering recycling and the renovation of the Rayleigh Windmill. He was also very pleased with the work June did as Chairman of the Review Committee.
    Chris was highly intelligent, got a history degree at Sussex University and he and I shared an interest in political history. Over the years we would exchange books. The last time I spoke to him was a few weeks ago when I phoned him to tell him about an elderly resident who we both knew had passed away. He was very pleased to hear from me and I shall treasure that memory.

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