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Long-standing Basildon councillor loses battle with cancer
3:20pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
A LONG-standing Basildon councillor has passed away following a two-year battle with cancer.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and despite the best efforts of doctors it quickly spread to other parts of her body.
Sylvia and devoted husband, former council leader Malcolm, who is a councillor for the same ward, were told at the beginning of the year she would not see out 2013.
Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, is devastated by the loss of a close personal friend.
He said: “I have known Sylvia personally for over 20 years and when you work together as Conservative councillors you spend a lot of time together and obviously become close.
“We also shared the same birthday so we have always celebrated them together. Our families also grew close and we would always get together over Christmas and on New Year’s Eve.
“From a personal point of view I will miss her a lot. She had such a bubbly, positive attitude which she kept right until the end.
“You wouldn’t have known how ill she was by talking to her. She carried on with her duties right up until she passed away.”
Sylvia, who was born in Wickford and lived there her whole life, become assistant to the leader a year ago.
Before that she was chairman of the Basildon council planning committee, and served as a ward councillor since 1991.
In November, Sylvia and Malcolm, councillor responsible for regeneration and community safety, were able to enjoy a final holiday to Jamaica before her condition deteriorated.
Mr Ball added: “Malcolm had two years to prepare for this but you can never really prepare yourself for what is going to happen. They were such a devoted couple and they used to do everything together.
“Our priority now is supporting Malcolm.”
A by-election will now take place to find a replacement for Sylvia’s seat, but a date has not yet been set.