Ipswich: Tributes pour in for ‘wonderful’ councillor

FRIENDS and colleagues from the town have been queuing up today to pay tribute to a “charming” and “hard-working” county councillor who tragically died on Christmas Day.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, had known Rosemary “Rosie” Clarke for more than 50 years.

“I have lost a wonderful friend,” said Mrs Harsant. “The one thing Rosie had was a fantastic sense of humour and she’s going to be very much missed.

“She absolutely loved being a councillor. It really became her life and she genuinely enjoyed doing it.

“She was so good at dealing with people. It didn’t matter who you were – Rosie was always there being charming and making everybody laugh.

“You couldn’t ask for a better friend or for a better person. She was kind, always available when things were wrong and she never pre-judged anyone. She was just a marvellous person.”

The 68-year-old, originally from Ipswich, but lately of Stebbings Close, Hollesley, served as councillor for Wilford – the Hollesley/Butley area – until she passed away from cancer on Christmas Day.

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She and Mrs Harsant were godmothers to each other’s daughters and often went on holiday together as well as regular trips to see their beloved Ipswich Town – including to Wembley in May 2000 and to the recent derby match in Norwich.

Suffolk County Council leader Jeremy Pembroke said: “Rosie was an example to all of us. She represented everything I believe a local councillor should be – hard-working, passionate and caring.

“I will miss Rosie, not just as a colleague but also as a friend. Our thoughts are with her family and friends”.

The funeral is expected to be held next week.

Mrs Clarke’s seat will remain vacant until a by-election can be arranged.

n Pay your tribute to Rosemary Clarke. Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n Opinion – page 6.