Tributes to woman who championed Stowmarket as ‘centre of the universe’
- Credit: Archant
Former Stowmarket mayor and current county councillor Anne Whybrow has died after a long illness.
Mrs Whybrow was a member of the county council for many years before losing her Stowmarket South seat to UKIP’s Stephen Searle in 2013.
She stood again for the county, this time in the Liberal Democrat seat of Bosmere, in 2017 and secured a 182-vote majority for the Conservatives.
Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council said: “It is with much sadness that I confirm Councillor Anne Whybrow passed away yesterday.
“Anne was first elected to the County Council in 2006 to represent the Stowmarket South division. She was elected in May 2017 to the Bosmere division.
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“She performed her community role admirably. She served on a large number of committees over the years and was Vice Chairman of the Council in 2012-13.”
During her first spell as county councillor, she was also a senior member of the party’s internal structure at Endeavour House.
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Mr Hicks added: “She was held in high esteem and was testament to what a good councillor should be.
“Anne always showed much courage, strength and determination and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.”
Mrs Whybrow leaves a husband, David, who is a member of Mid Suffolk Council and a daughter.
Her former seat in Stowmarket is now held on the county council by Nick Gowrley, a personal friend of Mr and Mrs Whybrow. He has also been helping with issues in Bosmere during her illness.
He said: “Anne’s death is a great loss to the area. She was the person who described Stowmarket as the ‘centre of the universe’ and she was very well known in the town.
“Everyone knew her – and she worked so hard for the town and the area around it.”
A by-election will be held later to elect a new county councillor for Bosmere – and that is expected to be a tight contest.