Tendring: Tributes paid to councillor Sarah Candy
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Tributes have been paid to Tendring district councillor Sarah Candy who died yesterday aged just 47.
Ms Candy represented Lawford on the district council from 2003 to 2011, and Manningtree, Mistley, Little Bentley and Tendring, from 2011 up until her death.
A senior Conservative councillor, she was responsible for a number of prominent positions in cabinet for five years including planning, regeneration and growth.
She also represented Tendring Rural West on Essex County Council (ECC) for 12 years from 2001 until deciding not to run again in last year’s elections.
During her time at County Hall she also spent time on its cabinet, holding posts for finance and later for children’s services and adult social care.
More recently she became a Little Bromley parish councillor and served as the parish council clerk up until her death in the early hours of yesterday morning from cancer.
Her husband councillor Neil Stock, current chairman and former leader of Tendring District Council (TDC), said: ““Sarah was the most amazing and inspirational person I have ever known.
“We were devoted to each other. She was a fantastic mother to our three children, Tabitha, 14, Trinity, 13, and Felix, 11, as well as being the driving force behind our family business.
“We are all simply devastated by her loss and it is impossible to imagine life without her.
“Sarah had been ill for over a year but doctors only managed to diagnose the cancer right at the end and when it was too late to treat.”
Educated at Lawford Primary School, where her mother was one of her teachers, she then went to St Mary’s School in Colchester.
She began work at Harlequin in Manningtree in 1989 as PA to the managing director and spent evenings and weekends studying accountancy.
In 1995 she was appointed company accountant to the Multimedia Corporation in London, an off-shoot company of the BBC, where she worked for two years before leaving after she had successfully organised their stock market flotation.
Ms Candy then returned to Harlequin as managing director following the retirement of the owners and in 1998 she and Mr Stock bought out the company and have run it together ever since.
She was also a non-executive director of both Tendring and North East Essex Primary Care Trusts over a number of years.
Ms Candy has a brother Richard who lives with his family in Brantham.
David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, added: “Sarah in her time at ECC was an extremely capable and competent cabinet member who made considerable improvements to social care and the financial administration of the council.
“Her financial acumen and business experience were clearly obvious in her dealings with all within the county council and she will be missed by those that knew her.”
North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin also paid tribute.
“Sarah was a driving force and an inspiration to many people,” he said.
“She was always determined to do what was right, whatever the pressures. She carried on when many would have given up.
“Sarah helped transform TDC for the better. But she will be most cruelly missed by her friends and family, both as a truly creative businesswoman, and as a positive friend, but most as a husband and mother of three children.
“This is an untimely loss. My heart goes out to Sarah’s family.”