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West Suffolk councillors Angela Rushen and Bill Sadler have passed away

PUBLISHED: 14:47 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:48 18 May 2017

Councillor Bill Sadler.

Councillor Bill Sadler.

Tributes are being paid to two west Suffolk councillors who have died within days of each other.

Councillor Bill Sadler with Ann Rodwell when he handed over the reins as chairman of Suffolk County Council. Picture: WENDY TURNER. Councillor Bill Sadler with Ann Rodwell when he handed over the reins as chairman of Suffolk County Council. Picture: WENDY TURNER.

Angela Rushen, 70, a Conservative councillor for St Edmundsbury’s Chedburgh ward, passed away on Saturday and Bill Sadler, a Conservative councillor for Forest Heath’s St Mary’s ward in Newmarket, died on Tuesday.

A statement on the St Edmundsbury Borough Council website said Mrs Rushen, from Hawstead, was a “very much liked, valued and respected colleague who has served St Edmundsbury and the Chedburgh Ward so very well since her election in 2011”.

Borough council leader John Griffiths said “Angela Rushen was a lovely lady in so many ways”.

“We are all very sorry about the loss of a great friend and esteemed colleague and our thoughts are with the family,” he said.

Councillor Angela Rushen. Councillor Angela Rushen.

Mrs Rushen’s son Giles described her as a “devoted” mother who adored her three grandchildren.

“She used to come up and watch them play rugby and football,” he said. “She took photos of everything.”

He said the countryside and farming were in her blood, adding she had grown up on the family’s farm, Bryers, in Hawstead, and she enjoyed walking her dog through the fields.

He said his mother, who was married to Terry and had been a teacher, had been suffering from secondary breast cancer. She also leaves her son Jason.

Her funeral is taking place on Friday, May 26, at Hawstead Church at 2.30pm with a burial to follow. There will then be refreshments at the village hall.

Mr Sadler, who was in his 80s, had been a councillor for more than 40 years, serving as a district, parish and county councillor in his time, including a stint as chairman of Suffolk County Council.

He was known for being a straight-talker and for his dry wit. Colleagues also said he was a stickler for the rules and council protocol.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “If he didn’t agree with something he would speak his mind regardless of politics, which I respect.”

He said his colleague, who was chairman of the Newmarket branch of the Royal British Legion, dedicated many years to “trying to do the right thing” for the people he represented.

He added: “My thoughts go out to the family. It’s a big loss to the council and he will be missed.”

Mayor of Newmarket Andy Drummond said: “We didn’t always get on, but I always respected him as an ally or adversary, depending upon how things stood at the time.”

District councillor Chris Barker described Mr Sadler, who passed away following an illness, as a “good colleague and a mentor” - adding he got him involved with the Conservative group - and they became friends.

He leaves his son David and daughter Kate as well as three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

His funeral is taking place on June 1 at 12.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Newmarket. Everybody is welcome.

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