Residents and fellow councillors have paid tribute to a ‘friendly and forthright’ veteran Worthing councillor who died last night (Thursday, July 20).
Councillor Joan Bradley had represented Marine Ward on Worthing Borough Council since being elected in 2004.
We will miss her, we are grateful for her service and our thoughts are with her family at this difficult timeCouncillor Edward Crouch
Paying tribute, Councillor Edward Crouch said: “Joan fell into the category of people who didn’t suffer fools gladly and her robust, firm-but-fair approach meant she was well suited to her role as chairman of the planning committee.
“More importantly however, in her time as councillor, Joan stood up for the local people in Marine Ward and I think I can say on behalf of residents and our local branch that we will miss her, we are grateful for her service and our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.”
Following a period of absence from the council chamber due to ill health, Joan was relected in May, 2016.
But a year later in May this year she retired, triggering a by-election.
She died last night with her family in Bolton.
It is not expected that a service will be held in Worthing.
Councillor Joseph Crouch said of Joan’s time as chairman of the planning committee: “She made sensible decisions, approving proposals that were merited while opposing inapproproate decisions or overdevelopment.
“She had friends beyond the conservative group because she worked in the interests of all.”
Mr Crouch has been selected as the conservative candidate for the by-election.
Formal campaigning for the by-election, due to be held on Thursday, August 3, has been suspended until Monday out of respect.
Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “I first met Joan about ten years ago when I joined the West Worthing Conservative association.
“She was always a source of good advice and support.
“I served alongside her on the planning committee and very much valued her leadership on that committee.
“Joan’s forthright manner and diligent approach to being a councillor will be sorely missed, as will the friendship and support she offered to councillors of all parties.”
Joan had also been prominent in helping residents in Dolphin Lodge, where she lived.
David Messer, marine ward chairman, said: “As a fellow local resident I pay tribute to Joan.
“She was respected by her neighbours and by her ward residents, who knew how hard she worked for them.”
Sir Peter Bottomley MP said: “She spoke with typical Lancastrian bluntness.
“She was friendly and forthright.
“I expect Joseph Crouch to be just as effective with his youthful approach to public service.”