Following the recent passing of Councillor Angela Newton MBE, Full Council was up standing in holding a minute silence in her memory.
The Chairman invited members to pay their tributes to Councillor Newton.
The Leader paid tribute to Councillor Newton on behalf of all members, both past and present. She had been South Holland District Council’s longest serving Councillor and for around 20 years had been the Leader of the largest opposition group. The fact that the Authority had been so successful and innovative was in part due to how well she had managed her role as Leader of the opposition group whilst working jointly to ensure positive results and holding the Council Chamber together in a positive way. She had always engaged positively with all items that she dealt with, even when she had disagreed. She had contributed and supported numerous community initiatives such as Spalding in Bloom and the Voluntary Car Scheme and had worked tirelessly for the community. She would be a very hard act to follow, and the Leader wished it to be recorded how sorely she would be missed.
Councillor Alcock commented that all members knew what Councillor Newton had done within the Council, and that all she did should be celebrated. Privately, she had been devoted to her family – she regularly spoke about them, and her passing was a sad loss for them. The Independent Group would greatly miss her, and he commented that she was ‘nearly’ unique.
Councillor Brewis commented how highly she was regarded, and of her great knowledge of what was going on in the town and the surrounding villages. Her influence extended further than the District, as a result of her work with the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA). The subject of markets was one on which she had held a huge amount of knowledge, and a fitting memorial to her would be to ensure the success of markets within the South Holland area.
Councillor Booth had known Councillor Newton for some 60 years. She was the most dedicated, honest and hard-working person that he had known, and he would miss her greatly.
Councillor Lawton worked with Councillor Newton on many occasions, predominantly on gardening projects, and they often talked of their families. She was a force of nature and would be greatly missed.
Councillor Sneath stated that she had known Councillor Newton all her life but had got to know her better since being elected as a District Councillor. They had worked together on many projects. Residents had lost a great champion. She also commented on how greatly her family mattered to her. She would be greatly missed.
Councillor Gibson commented that he also wished to associate himself with the Leader’s comments. He thanked all Councillors, staff and the public for their kind comments following Councillor Newton’s passing.
Councillor Gambba-Jones acknowledged that he and Councillor Newton had disagreed on many occasions however, she had posthumously gained a victory with regard to the former Pennygate Surgery whose closure had resulted in the movement of patients to the GP surgery at Johnson Community Hospital. When it had become known that this was also to be closed, she had again taken up this cause on behalf of patients, in demanding a new surgery for them. Very recently, it had been announced that a Beechfield West Surgery would be achieved in order to accommodate the patients – a result she had sadly not lived to see. It was suggested that recognition and acknowledgement of all Councillor Newton had achieved be placed within the new surgery.
Councillor Biggadike stated that although he had known Councillor Newton for many years, he had not had occasion to work with her often. However, he had recently worked alongside her on the South Holland Centre Task Group, a venue that was very dear to her heart.
Councillor Woolf commented that he had recently been at a meeting regarding the newly reinstated Spalding Flower Parade, and the organiser had commented how keen she had been to assist in any way that she could. This typified her as a person constantly supporting her community.