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Death of Suffolk council leader Colin Law after short battle with illness

PUBLISHED: 10:59 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:45 15 May 2017

Mark Bee (L) and Colin Law (R) are pictured with Waveney MP Peter Aldous.(stock image).  Picture: WAVENEY COUNCIL.

Mark Bee (L) and Colin Law (R) are pictured with Waveney MP Peter Aldous.(stock image). Picture: WAVENEY COUNCIL.

Archant

Waveney District Council leader Colin Law has died just days before he was due to hand over the leadership of the authority to Mark Bee.

He had been ill for a short time – but his death has come as a shock to his family, friends and everyone at the council.

Mr Law was 74 and leaves his widow, Deanna, two daughters, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

A statement from the council said everyone was stunned by the loss of both a successful and influential Leader and warm, friendly and well-liked man. It added: “However we are all also thinking of Colin’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Mr Bee is due to take over the leadership of the authority on Wednesday and said: “I have known Colin for over 15 years and in all that time he has been a councillor on Waveney and also Suffolk County Council.

“For the last six years he has been Waveney’s Leader, having succeeded me in 2011. He has been an extremely hard working public figure and community leader and even during his recent illness he attended events and meetings and participated with his usual enthusiasm and determination.

“He was also a man of great kindness and a dry sense of humour, with an infectious laugh. Waveney has lost a great councillor and all of us who knew him have lost a great friend. He will be greatly missed by those on all sides of the political divide.”

Council chief executive Stephen Baker said: “Colin was a pleasure to work with; a tireless and enthusiastic public servant who had a great working relationship with staff. He respected them and the feeling was absolutely mutual.”

Mr Law had been a county councillor, and was a member of that authority’s cabinet before taking on the leadership at Waveney.

County council leader Colin Noble said: “Colin Law was the most special person to know and be around. I’ll remember him for his strong political leadership, his commitment to the people he represented, but above all his fun and larger-than-life character.

“There was always one thing you could absolutely guarantee when Colin was in the room, and that was having a smile your face. Suffolk has lost a truly honourable and wonderful man, and our hearts and thoughts are with his wife Deanna, his children, grandchildren and family.”

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A Suffolk mother of six who dishonestly claimed £15,000 of benefits she was not entitled to has walked free from court after a judge told her she had escaped an immediate prison sentence by the “skin of her teeth.”

An innovative nursing scheme helping people cope with a wide range of health care problems has been hailed as a trailblazing example for other communities in the county to follow.

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