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Tributes paid to South Park and Woodhatch borough councillor
2:45pm Tuesday 8th January 2013 in Local News
Councillors, colleagues and friends were this week paying tribute to Reigate and Banstead Borough Councillor and Surrey County Councillor Frances King, who died on New Year's Eve.
Mrs King, who was ward member for South Park and Woodhatch, died after a long illness.
She was 54.
She leaves husband Stephen, daughter Rebecca, 25, and son Jason, 23.
Paying tribute, council leader Mrs Joan Spiers said she would be remembered for her dedication and hard work, and said: ““She will be missed not only as a colleague, but as a friend.
“I am privileged to have been able to work alongside her.”
Coun King was elected as ward member for South Park and Woodhatch in 2002.
In her time in post she served on a number of borough council committees and panels including the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Planning Committee and Licensing Committee.
She was also a county councillor for the Earlswood and Reigate South Division, and served as a member of the Local Committee for Reigate and Banstead in her capacity as a county councillor.
A borough council spokeswoman said Coun King would be remembered for her valuable ward work leading on the Local Community Action Plan for South Park and Woodhatch, one of the first in the borough.
The action plan saw improvements to shopping parades and new and improved facilities for local young people, including a new skate ramp at the Sovereign Youth Centre in Woodhatch. Coun King also worked with local traders to raise funds for Christmas lights, and served on the committee for the Woodhatch Community Centre and the Earlswood Common Management Group.
Coun Spiers said: “I am extremely saddened by the news of Frances' passing. She fought a long, hard battle but finally lost.”
She said: “She will be remembered for her dedication and hard work for the borough council and on behalf of her residents. “She was very active in her ward and was highly respected by councillors, officers and residents.
"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”
Fellow borough councillor Barbara Thomson, ward member for Earlswood and Whitebushes, said: “She was like a sister.”
Coun Thomson said: “She talked me into being a councillor.
“She cared about community and people. She was very much a people person, and family was very important to her, and her four cats.”
She said: “We worked together on lots of things. She was very hard working, both in county work and in the borough. She was excellent.”
Surrey County Council chairman Lavinia Sealy also paid tribute to Coun King, the county council’s elected member for Earlswood and Reigate South.
Coun Sealy said: “Everyone at the county council is deeply saddened by this tragic news and we extend our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to her family and friends. “Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.”
She said: “Frances worked tirelessly to champion the cause of local residents and was renowned for her efforts to make a difference for them.
“She will be remembered not only as a dedicated councillor but also as a friend to all those she worked with. “She was the vice-chairman of the Reigate and Banstead local committee and was a member of the Environment and Transport Committee, as well as serving on the Health Scrutiny Committee.
“During her seven years as a councillor, Frances served on many other committees, including the Children and Families Committee, Safer and Stronger Communities Select Committee, and the Adults and Community Care Select Committee, so I know that I’m speaking on behalf of everyone here when I say that Frances will be greatly missed.”
Coun King’s funeral will take place at St Luke’s Church, Reigate, on January 18, at 2pm.