A town mourns a true champion

Pat Fawcett
Pat Fawcett

The union flag at Corby Cube is flying at half mast out of respect for a former leader who played a vital part in transforming the town.

Residents whom Cllr Pat Fawcett helped, knew and loved will be able to leave tributes in a book of condolence which will be in the Cube later this week.

Pat, or Corby’s First Lady as she was known, died on Friday aged 68 after a long-battle with lung cancer.

Nick Fawcett, 42, one of her sons, said the family had received many kind wishes and support.

He said: “Thank you for all of the warm messages that have been sent. Yes, she served Corby well, but she was also a mum, a sister, a nan, a nanna, a friend and a colleague and an inspiration to all and will be sorely missed.

“She always tried to make things good for everyone. We were growing up in the town and therefore, by helping making it better, it was making it better for everyone that lived here.

“She didn’t want to retire when she did, she still saw there was a lot to do and wanted to carry on despite her illness.”

He added: “Although it was a disease she thought you had to try to fight it and carry on. She always put Corby first and listened to the people so they could put their point across.”

He added details for the funeral had not yet been finalised, however the family will be requesting donations in lieu of flowers, for Northamptonshire children’s cancer charity Chelsea’s Angels.

Pat became a Labour councillor in May 1999 representing the Hillside Ward and was re-elected in 2003 as councillor for the East ward.

She stepped down as leader of the council in November but remained a councillor and attended council business throughout her illness.

She also leaves two other sons, Jason, 39, and Richard, 45, her sister Maureen and brother-in-law Stuart.

Norman Stronach, acting chief executive of the council, said of Pat: “She oversaw many positive changes in the borough and was a great advocate for Corby.”

Dr Margy Whalley, director of Pen Green Research Centre, where Pat was a governor, said: “While she had an amazing commitment to politics, it’s her passion and commitment to families I will remember her for.

“I don’t think there’s a child or family in Corby she didn’t connect with. We are all going to miss her.”