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Tributes paid to former borough mayor Margaret Weston
A FORMER borough mayor, who was one of the founding supporters of St Michael’s Hospice, has died.
Margaret Weston, of Silchester Road, Tadley, died at home on Tuesday following a terminal illness. She was 84.
Former colleagues have praised her “absolute dedication” to her community.
Close personal friend and council colleague Councillor Marilyn Tucker said the Conservative councillor for Tadley had spent more than 25 years dedicating her life to the town, as well as the borough.
“We called her Mrs Tadley,” said Cllr Tucker. “She was very Tadley-orientated. I would say she was an inspiration for many people. She had a very good political nose, but was a very caring person.”
Mrs Weston grew up in Sandwich, in Kent, and moved to Tadley in 1953 with her late husband, Frederick.
She joined what was then Basingstoke Borough Council in 1973, and for 12 years was a highly-respected chairman of the influential planning committee.
From 1989 to 1990 she was the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.
It was during her mayoral year that the mother-of-one starting fundraising for what will be her lasting legacy, St Michael’s Hospice.
Cllr Tucker said: “She was well aware of people who were terminally-ill, and as she realised that people needed somewhere to go, she took it upon herself to work towards getting St Michael’s Hospice.
“At the time there was some opposition and she had to fight like mad for it. But she raised an extraordinary amount of money, and showed how dedicated she was to her purpose.”
The Aldermaston Road hospice opened in April 1992, and current chief executive David Monkman said countless families are indebted to her work.
“Margaret Weston was instrumental in the founding of St. Michael’s Hospice,” he said. “Her vision has helped countless patients and families over the past 20 years, and will continue long into the future.”
Leader of the council during her mayoral year, Cllr Stephen Reid, paid tribute to her years of public service.
“She was utterly dedicated to serving the community, both locally and on the council. She was utterly loyal to her friends and community.”
Cllr David Leeks, Tadley South ward member, said: “She did a lot for the local community and will be remembered for starting the hospice.
“If you had a problem, she would help as much as she could – she was quite an example to people.”
Mrs Weston’s funeral will be at St Peter’s Church, in Church Road, Tadley, on October 30.