CIVIC and arts campaigner Robert Hutchison has died after a short illness.

Mr Hutchison, 76, was the founder of Winchester Action on Climate Change and was also the founder and first chairman of Winchester Poetry Festival in 2014.

He was a Liberal Democrat city councillor and had spent a career in the arts setting up the Wilfred Owen Association.

Mr Hutchison, of Clifton Road, Oram’s Arbour, was chief executive of Southern Arts, and of Oxford Inspires.

Winchester city councillor Lucille Thompson, leader of the Lib Dem group, paid tribute.

Cllr Thompson said: “It is a hugely sad loss for everyone on the council.

“He contributed to Winchester life fully for a number of years.

“He was a huge influence on how Winchester has been developing.

“It’s incredibly sad.

“His death has shocked us all and he will be greatly missed.”

A statement on the Winchester Poetry Festival website said: “Using a combination of vision, elegant intellectual argument, personal warmth and a willingness to lead by example, Robert was a persuasive champion.

“A skilled and engaging public speaker, he wore his erudition lightly, though he enjoyed spontaneously reciting by heart his favourite poems.”

The funeral will be at The United Church, Jewry Street, Winchester on Thursday, October 12, at 3pm.

All are welcome.