Tributes to councillor at ‘emotional’ meeting
Councillors from across the political spectrum took turns to remember Coun Dorothy Flude at an emotional full council meeting last Thursday.
Members of Cheshire East Council shared anecdotes and condolences to the family of the former Crewe councillor, who had died earlier that month, (writes local democracy reporter Stephen Topping).
Coun Flude served on the former Cheshire county council and sat on Cheshire East since its shadow year in 2008-09 until her death.
She was the Labour group leader on Cheshire East from 2008 to 2012, before she served as the borough’s mayor in 2013-14, and she was Cabinet member for children and families from May 2019.
She was also a member of Crewe Town Council, Crewe Heritage Trust and the Cheshire Fire Authority, where she played a key role in battling to keep the full-time pump at Crewe station.
Before a minute’s silence, Coun Barry Burkhill, the mayor of Cheshire East, paid tribute to a “very remarkable lady”.
He said: “I’m sure that all members will agree with me that Dorothy will be sorely missed by all of us, and particularly by her family and the very many friends who knew her.
“She was a real force of nature and worked tirelessly for those that she represented.”
Labour Coun Laura Jeuda, Cabinet member for adult social care and health, praised her “steely determination” and “passionate concern” for young people.
“Her vitality and her commitment to her community and the people she represented was formidable,” she said.
Coun Sam Corcoran, Cheshire East’s Labour leader, described her as his mentor and told councillors he was “deeply honoured” to have been asked to speak at her funeral, which took place on 20th December.
Labour Coun Steven Hogben, Coun Flude’s fellow ward member for Crewe South, added: “Another person described her some years ago as ‘the hardest working councillor they ever met’ and I completely agree with that assessment.
“In fact, regularly over the years, some of us encouraged her to cut back on her many commitments — and typically, she steadfastly ignored us and would occasionally take on extra work just in case she had an idle moment.”
Coun Rachel Bailey, who served as Cheshire East’s Conservative leader from February 2016 to May 2019, paid tribute to Coun Flude’s “desire to work together and get things done”.
Coun Janet Clowes, leader of Cheshire East’s Conservative group, added: “The news of Coun Dorothy Flude’s passing is a great loss to this council and for all who knew her.
“She was a rare politician, passionate about supporting and representing the needs of her ward, her town and her borough — and always willing to listen to new ideas and perspectives.”
Coun Rod Fletcher, Liberal Democrat group leader, said Coun Flude “very deeply cared for her community”, while Coun Brendan Murphy labelled her “the perfect councillor”, and Coun David Marren hailed her “determination to fight for things she felt were fair and right”.