We are very sad to let you know the news that Councillor Van Coulter, ward councillor for Barton and Sandhills in Oxford City, died on 13 March 2017. A member of Low Carbon Headingon and a strong advocate of the CAG Project, many of us knew him personally as a staunch fighter in the battle against climate change and social injustice.
In a statement from Oxford City Council, Chief Executive Peter Sloman and Council Leader Bob Price said “Cllr Coulter was well known to many people for his dedicated work as a local councillor, his commitment to helping vulnerable people and his contribution to the City. He will be much missed by his friends and colleagues.”
Councillor Coulter was first elected to the City Council in 2010 for the Barton and Sandhills ward, which he served with dedication. He subsequently chaired the East Area Planning Committee and the Health Inequalities Scrutiny Panel. Additionally Councillor Coulter served on the Audit and Governance Committee, the Staffing Committee, the General Purposes Licensing Committee, the Licensing and Gambling Acts Committee, the Licensing and Registration Sub Committee and the Scrutiny Committee.
Councillor Coulter was also the Chair of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and a director at Ruskin College, Oxford. He worked as a political economist, specialising in labour market economics and sustainable development. He was an advocate for a national cancer charity, and was an advisor to the Euro-Asia Economic Forum.
Van’s tragic death has come as a complete shock. He will be very widely missed by all of us on the City Council, as well as many colleagues with whom he has worked as the National Chair of the Association of Public Service Excellence (a high-profile national role promoting public service) and a district council representative on the South East England Councils. He was a passionate advocate for social justice and equalities, and chaired a very successful scrutiny enquiry into the social and economic inequalities across Oxford that delivered a set of practical recommendations for tackling the causes. He had established a national reputation as an expert on climate change and how to tackle it and spoke regularly at international meetings on the subject.
Van was a hard-working and committed ward councillor for Barton and Sandhills and was closely involved in the planning of the new Barton estate. His kindness and courtesy were legendary. His death is a real blow to the city.”
Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.