A popular and dedicated councillor, and hard-working servant of the Farnham community over three decades, Roger Blishen, has died aged 79 after a short illness.

Cllr Blishen was elected a Farnham Residents representative for The Bourne in 2019, but had previously dedicated much of his life as a volunteer for multiple community organisations.

He first moved to the area 37 years ago with his wife Anne and two then-teenage children, and was recognised for his “sustained dedication” to preventing crime at the 2019 Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association annual general meeting awards.

Cllr Blishen founded the Neighbourhood Watch scheme for Bat and Ball Lane and Wicket Hill in Wrecclesham with the then-local PC Nigel Tidy in 1994 following a raft of house break-ins in the area.

The scheme has since played a significant role in preventing further crime in the area, and Cllr Blishen was presented with a Certificate of Achievement by Surrey Police chief superintendent Ali Barlow after dedicating 25 years as a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator.

Cllr Blishen also served as vice-chair of South West Surrey Disability Empowerment Network, and had been involved in Scouting since 1949.

He died at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford on Tuesday, November 8.

Farnham Town Council expressed its sadness at Cllr Blishen’s death in a statement, adding: “A dedicated councillor for The Bourne, he will be greatly missed and remembered for his cheerful and positive contribution to the life of the council and the courtesy and kindness he showed to all he met.

“Staff and councillors offer their sincere condolences to Mrs Anne Blishen and family on their tragic loss.”

A Waverley Borough Council spokesman said: “Cllr Blishen was a very hard-working and personable councillor, who had overcome many setbacks before dedicating himself to public service. He will be greatly missed.”