Tributes to ‘outstanding’ councillor

Councillors ane Evison, Jonathan Owen and Margaret Chapman
Councillors ane Evison, Jonathan Owen and Margaret Chapman

Touching tributes have poured in for a “dedicated” and “outstanding” councillor who did so much for the Bridlington community.

East Wolds and Coastal ward councillor Margaret Chapman MBE passed away peacefully at home after suffering from oesophagus cancer.

Her partner of six years Barry Moody said: “She will be sadly missed by her family, close friends and the very large number of people that knew her via her total commitment to everything she was 
involved with. We who knew her salute her.”

Margaret, of Jewison Lane, Sewerby, worked for the health service for 25 years before retiring in 1988 to become a water fowler, breeding exhibition geese, and also table poultry and pigs.

She was elected in 1976 as a councillor for the North Wolds Council, which changed its name in 1981 to East Yorkshire Borough Council, serving as mayor for the civic year 1988/89.

In 1996, she was appointed an Honorary Alderman of the former East Yorkshire Borough Council.

Margaret was elected a Conservative councillor on the newly created East Riding of Yorkshire Council in 1996 representing the East Wolds and Coastal ward.

She was involved in a host of local community groups and organisations such as being a school governor at Kilham School, a Bridlington Harbour Commissioner, a trustee of the Parker Homes Trust, a member of the Humberside Fire Authority and a member of the Waste Management Committee at Carnaby.

East Wolds and Coastal Conservative ward councillor Jane Evison praised Margaret’s dedication during their 20 years working together.

“She was a very experienced councillor who knew the area and the people so well. She did the job in an exemplary fashion. It is a tremendous loss and a lot of people will be sad.

“Between myself, Margaret and Cllr Jonathan Owen, we worked very well for the East Wolds and Coastal ward.

“Planning was her love and she played her role very well. It is a testament to her dedication that she continued to attend all the meetings despite her illness. She leaves a number of gaps within the community that will be extremely difficult to fill.”

As an East Riding of Yorkshire councillor, she previously served on the Healthy Environment, Improved Health, and Northern Area Planning Committee, which she chaired.

Margaret served as Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the civic year 2004/05 during which she raised £6,428 towards the Anthony Nolan Trust and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

She was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 1999 for services to the community in Bridlington.

In 2014, she was appointed chairman of the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority becoming the first female chairman in its 80-year history and the first female chairman in the entire country.

In her spare time, she enjoyed painting and making embroidered pictures, in fact, embroidery in general and soft furnishings, swimming and going to the gym. She was also a food scientist and a Cordon Bleu cook.

Margaret also took time to volunteer as a Samaritan while she was president of the Bridlington Burma Star Association until the branch closed in 1997. She was a member of Bridlington Royal British 
Legion and was the organiser of the tombola and raffle at the Bridlington Rally weekend.

Margaret was diagnosed with cancer in September 2012 and despite her extensive treatments she continued to give her time and effort to all her commitments.

Last year she did a sponsored parachute jump to raise money for Cancer Research.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Margaret was an outstanding councillor and has been a member of this authority for 20 years, ever since East Riding of Yorkshire Council was created in 1996, and as an elected member of North Wolds Council and East Yorkshire Borough Council before that. Her hard work and dedication was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in 1999, when she was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Bridlington.

“Margaret will be missed by all at East Riding of Yorkshire Council and I would like to express my sincerest condolences to her family and friends.”

She was overtaken by her condition and died peacefully at home on Friday 4 March leaving daughter Helena, grandson Peter, granddaughter Vicky and seven great-grandchildren.