Tributes to 'brilliant mum' and 'outstanding public servant' Lisa, 44

Lisa Chandler

Lisa Chandler, who was involved with the Sizewell C project - Credit: The Chandler family

Tributes have been paid to a council employee, who will be an "indescribable" loss and became renowned as the ‘go to’ person on matters relating to the planned new Sizewell C nuclear power station. 

Lisa Chandler became widely known for her work as energy projects manager at East Suffolk Council, which involved her in management projects related to wind and solar farms and the proposed twin nuclear reactor development at Sizewell. 

Last week, the Government backed the new plant with £100m of funding. 

Mrs Chandler, who had Multiple Sclerosis, died following a fall at her home in Brooks Hall Road, Ipswich, aged 44. 

She lived with her husband Darren, 53 and children Toby, 12, and Paige, nine. 

Mr Chandler said: “Despite the problems caused by her Multiple Sclerosis, nothing would stop her. She was a very driven person both in her personal life and at home.” 

Her twin sister Jo Applin added: “She was a fun-loving, brilliant sister, daughter, friend, mum and wife - her absence leaves a huge hole in all of our lives.” 

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Her work placed her at the core of the council’s response to Sizewell C when she worked with councils, nuclear energy company EDF and planning inspectors. 

The council’s chief executive Stephen Baker said her death had been received with "deep shock and sadness" throughout the authority and colleagues were "heartbroken and devastated" not just by Mrs Chandler’s loss, but also the impact on her family. 

He added: “Lisa was an outstanding public servant, an absolute gem. Her work on Sizewell was second to none, indeed, her work was repeatedly complimented by those involved, whether they were other councils, EDF, or the Planning Inspectors.  

“She was very much the ‘go to’ person on Sizewell, and on all the planning issues that went along with it. 

“Lisa possessed all the qualities that made her a superb planning officer and project manager; she was very bright, diligent, tenacious, imaginative and thorough.  

“She was utterly professional and committed to her role, and to doing the best she could for the council and its communities. She had a lovely manner, there was a way she had in which she would disagree with you and bring you around to her way of thinking, but without you realising….” 

The council’s deputy leader Craig Rivett described her as "hardworking, dedicated, a master of detail and always, always ahead of the news and issues".

He said: “Not many would have known what Lisa had to face on a daily basis and with a family member with the same condition I knew Lisa could have justifiably and rightly made more prominent those challenges.   

“Instead, you’d never have known the hard days from the better ones.  Ready for a laugh, a bit of mischief and watching Lisa in action for East Suffolk was a pleasure.  

“It didn’t matter who you were I think, as the chief executive said, when it came to an erroneous statement or poor logic, she would be there with the challenge.  My thoughts are with Lisa’s family and the loss, frankly, is indescribable."

Mrs Chandler was also involved with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) projects. 

Simon Amstutz, AONB project manager for Dedham Vale and Stour Valley, said: “Lisa was the officer representative from East Suffolk Council on the AONB Partnership and provided immense support, both technical and as an advocate for the AONB designation, on the numerous Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects planned for the Suffolk coast.  

“Beyond that she was a knowledgeable, insightful and fun person to work with. She will be missed immensely on many levels. The AONB team’s thoughts go out to her family and friends."

Raised in Colchester, Mrs Chandler attended Colchester High School for Girls and Huddersfield University and worked for Tendring District Council, St Edmundsbury Council and Ipswich Borough Council before joining East Suffolk Council. 

Her main interests centred around her family and friends, but she also enjoyed reading, especially Harry Potter books and travelling, as she was a renowned holiday planner for her family and friends. 

Her other passion was architecture and she enjoyed seeing Victorian-era bridges, buildings and stations. 

Her funeral will be held at Ipswich Crematorium in Cemetery Lane on Wednesday, 2 March at 11.45am.