A former leader of Stafford Borough Council has died following a lengthy illness.
Judith Dalgarno led the authority from 2003, when the Conservative group gained control, to 2009 and represented the Weeping Cross area for more than 30 years.
In 2015 – the year she stepped down as a borough councillor – she was made an Honorary Alderman in recognition of her lengthy service to the authority.
She was also known in the town for running the family business – The Paper House – which sold stationery in Greengate Street for many years.
Alderman Dalgarno died on Friday, April 3. She was 81.
The flag at Stafford Borough Council’s Civic Centre in Riverside was lowered as a mark of respect to Alderman Dalgarno, who served as Mayor in 1997.
In 2009 she was awarded the MBE for services to local government and the community – and it was the second time in four years that she met the Queen, following the monarch’s visit to Stafford in 2006.
Alderman Dalgarno’s time as council leader also saw the construction of a new leisure centre for Stafford at Lammascote Road, to replace the previous facility at Riverside.
This week current Stafford Borough Council leader Patrick Farrington paid tribute to his former colleague. Alderman Dalgarno gave Councillor Farrington his first cabinet position – and he said he had learned a lot from her.
Councillor Farrington said: “She was very well known as Leader of Stafford Borough Council and a past Mayor of the borough, and very popular in her ward at Weeping Cross.
“I was absolutely thrilled when in 2007, following the local elections, she invited me to join her cabinet and it was then that I really began to see what a real grasp she had on local issues, what people wanted and how adept she was at understanding the needs of our wider community.
“She would always tell me how people would go into her shop to talk about local politics and she would always listen and make a real effort to understand what people wanted. I have learned so much from her and the way that she ran things, and I owe her a lot.”
“I have also been very fortunate to meet her family and at this very sad time I wish to offer my sincere condolences and best wishes to her sons Martin and John and their families.
“When we are able to return to some form of normality, I hope that we can more properly celebrate her life and the huge contribution she made to Stafford Borough.”