POLITICIANS, town developers and Corby residents have been united in their praise for former council leader Pat Fawcett.
There has been an outpouring of warm words since Cllr Fawcett’s death was announced on Saturday, and the prospect of a permanent tribute is already being considered.
Among those paying tribute were council colleagues and companies Cllr Fawcett worked with.
Tom Beattie, who succeeded Cllr Fawcett as council leader, said: “Pat was a very valued colleague and friend over many years, even before we became councillors together.
“I am very sad. She was a terrific person who led Corby through an important period in its history, when the town began its regeneration.
“It is my intention to continue with that. I share Pat’s vision and hope to carry it forward in a way she would be proud of.”
Deputy council leader Mark Pengelly said: “Pat was a great leader of Corby. She was also a loving mother and her family meant everything to her. She was an inspiration to everyone and a fighter. She was a very strong leader whose vision helped give us the Corby we have today – which in her words is a bigger, brighter, better town.”
Leader of Corby’s Conservative group, Cllr David Sims, said: “It is a very sad day. Pat worked tirelessly for Corby. We had different views sometimes but she was great to work with and very fair to our group.”
Leader of Corby’s Liberal Democrat group, Cllr Chris Stanbra, said: “Pat was a fighter and had her own distinctive style. She was very feisty and stood up for Corby and Corby people. In my dealings with her she was always firm but fair and always good-humoured.”
Mulberry Developments director Robert Wilkinson worked with Cllr Fawcett on schemes including the cinema and Tesco projects.
He said: “My view of Pat is she was incredibly focused on what was best for Corby and the people of Corby.
“She was incredibly passionate in seeing regeneration and growth in the town – it was everything to her.
“I have never seen anyone as passionate about her town as Pat.”
Alfred Buller, director of Bee Bee Developments, which has been heavily involved in the regeneration of Corby, said: “In life you meet all sorts of people, but there are very few Pat Fawcetts. She was one hell of a girl.
“It is very sad and we will all miss her in Corby.”
People have also left tributes on the Evening Telegraph’s website.
Corby resident Ray Rodden said: “Heard the news at the Corby Town football game. Corby were losing but this made me forget the game.
“Then I looked around the stadium and thought ‘Pat, you helped build this’. Pat leaves so much behind for Corby people. Thank you.”