Obituary: Lord Underhill

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The Independent Online
MAY I add to Lord Ardwick's obituary of Reg Underhill (15 March)? writes Jeremy Beecham. For 10 years, until ill-health forced him to retire last autumn, Reg was President of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. It was never an honorary title to him - but a job he undertook as assiduously as he tackled everything in life.

He had never served in local government, although he knew it well from his days as a Labour Party organiser and his daughter has long been a county councillor. His strong support for democratically accountable local government was a great help in the sometimes dark days of the 1980s. His particular interest was public transport and he was a regular attender at AMA committee meetings as well as a firm defender of local government's key role in the provision of public transport during his 10 years as Opposition Front Bench spokesman in the Lords.

He was a hard-working President for the AMA and a perfect gentleman.