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Suffolk: Tributes paid to tragic Suffolk County Council boss found dead in woodland

PUBLISHED: 10:20 06 April 2011 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 April 2011

David White, SCC

David White, SCC


SUFFOLK: Colleagues of a senior council official found dead in woodland today paid tribute to a “friendly and amenable” man.

Suffolk County Council chief executive Andrea Hill broke the news to thousands of staff that interim head of legal services, David White, had died suddenly.

Mr White, who was in his 50s, had worked for the county council for more than 20 years.

His body was found in Butley Woods, near Woodbridge, on Monday evening after concerned family members contacted police.

In a statement sent out to staff via e-mail, Mrs Hill said it was with “deep regret” that she must inform them of Mr White’s death.

She said: “We have been in touch with Suffolk Police who have confirmed a sudden death without suspicious circumstances, believed to be suicide.

“David had been with Suffolk County Council for 21 years and this will be a very difficult time for many people across the organisation, not least those who worked most closely with David.”

Mrs Hill said it would be particularly difficult for staff in the Customer Service Direct department, where Mr White’s wife, Susan, worked.

“We have very little information about what actually happened or why and I have shared with you everything we know.”

Mrs Hill said Tim Ryder would step into the interim monitoring officer role, a position Mr White had been covering following the early retirement of Eric Whitfield last week. She said David Holt would help with team management.

She added: “I am so sorry that this is such a shock to us all. Our thoughts are with David’s family and friends at this time.”

Bryony Rudkin, deputy leader of the council’s Labour group, said she was “very sorry” to hear the tragic news.

She said: “I worked with him over many years and always found him to be friendly and amenable. He was a lawyer who wanted to help you to do things rather than be obstructive.

“I’m sure staff at all levels will be feeling this loss keenly.”

Sally Marlow, Suffolk County Council’s head of human resources, said: “Our thoughts are with David’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Police were contacted at 6pm on Monday following concerns from a woman about the welfare of a man from the Ipswich area.

“Officers found the body of a man in his 50s in woodland, near Butley, at 7.30pm. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

A former colleague of Mr White said: “He was one of the most genuine, helpful colleagues I have ever worked with and I am devastated by the news of this tragedy.

“He was so helpful and courteous. This is a terrific shock and the council will be stunned.”

Pay your tribute to David - post a message on this site or e-mail


  • What a terrible tragedy for David's family, and everyone who knew him. He was one of the most dedicated and committed people I've ever met, and for whom nothing was too much trouble. With David's death,the unexpected departure of Graham Dixon, Eric Whitfield and Jeremy Pembroke last week, and Judith Hawkshaw's death last year, it's beginning to feel that there are some dark forces at work in Endeavour House. What is going on?

    Report this comment

    Anne Thomas

    Friday, April 8, 2011

  • i feel for is family to have him to be found this way r.i.p Mr David white but i agree with the comment above is there something going on that we dont know or maybe things need to be investigated why so many left in a couple of days

    Report this comment

    angela greenway

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

  • A sad day when I heard the news. David was one of the most hardworking and dedicated people I have had the good fortune to work with. A big loss for Suffolk.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, April 7, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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