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Jane Chambers, former Ipswich mayor, has died

PUBLISHED: 15:47 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:47 19 March 2019

Jane Chambers during a visit to her old school, Clifford Road, during her period as mayor of Ipswich. Picture: Archant

Jane Chambers during a visit to her old school, Clifford Road, during her period as mayor of Ipswich. Picture: Archant

Archant

Former Ipswich mayor Jane Chambers has died in Ipswich Hospital at the age of 69 after a short illness.

Mrs Chambers, a Liberal Democrat councillor at the borough from 2002-2011, was mayor of the town in 2010/11 and was also a county councillor from 2009-13.

She threw herself into public life despite suffering from a congenital dislocation of both her legs which meant she had to walk with crutches.

She entered politics and was elected for the Alexandra Ward and St Helen’s division of the county council when the Liberal Democrats attracted many votes during the first decade of the century.

During her period as mayor the town’s Regent theatre was refurbished and she was known for her energetic work in the community – she did not let her crutches slow her down.

Her party colleague Inga Lockington, who is also a former mayor of the town and is a member of both the borough and county councils, said that Mrs Chambers was a very determined politician.

She said: “Jane had to overcome the disability she had from birth, but that did not stop her from becoming a very effective campaigner and someone who was determined to make sure things were done as they should be.

“She had a very strong sense of right and wrong and would not back down when something needed to be done. That meant she did upset some people.”

But Mrs Lockington said her friend was always happy to help anyone: “Despite her own disability Jane would help out on anything, she was really devoted to her family and her grandchildren.”

Current Ipswich mayor Jane Riley, who represents the same ward as Mrs Chambers held a decade ago, said: “Jane made an important contribution to the community of Ipswich during her time as an Ipswich Borough Councillor representing Alexandra Ward from 2002 to 2011, and also as Mayor of Ipswich.

“We send our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this sad time.”

Mrs Chambers always said her Ipswich roots were very important to her – one of the highlights of her year as mayor was making an official visit to her former primary school, Clifford Road.

She ceased to be a county councillor in 2013 – but remained a familiar figure around the town and had recently moved into a new home not far from the heart of Ipswich.

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