Alfred Heald, a chartered accountant who spent 22 years as secretary of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, has died aged 98.

He was a leading light in the business community during the Sixties and Seventies and when he gave up the job of secretary was elected president of the chamber in honour of his work.

While he was secretary, its membership grew from 500 to more than 1,000 becoming a major voice in Brighton and Hove.

Mr Heald spent his last few years at the Pembroke Home for the Retired in Third Avenue, Hove. Before that, he lived with his wife and daughter in Lloyd Road, Hove.

He was also secretary to the Brighton and Hove Post Office Advisory Committee.

As a chartered accountant he was a partner in the Brighton firm of Baldwin and Son and in the early Seventies he won a high-profile case in the High Court.

As secretary to the chamber of commerce he caused controversy when in 1978 he said there were far too many shops in Brighton and Hove and more on the Brighton station site should be opposed.

Mr Heald's wife Phyllis died after the couple moved to the Pembroke retirement home in 1997. His daughter Heather lives in Scotland and he leaves two grandchildren, Paul and Mark, and four great-grandchildren.

Thursday March 25, 2004