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Memorial bench unveiled for determined and passionate' late Barnet Council leader Lynne Hillan
Former Barnet mayor Lisa Rutter, Councillor Andreas Tambourides and council leader Richard Cornelius (centre) at the memorial bench
Family and colleagues of late council leader Lynne Hillan gathered at a “reflective and poignant” service to unveil a bench in her memory.
The Brunswick Park councillor lost her battle with cancer last April, less than one year after she stepped down as Barnet Council leader to fight the disease.
A memorial bench has been placed in Osidge Lane, between Brunswick Park School, where the mother-of-two was a governor, and Osidge Library, where she held regular surgeries.
Ward colleague and close friend Councillor Andreas Tambourides gathered £1,100 in donations from family, friends and other council members to pay for the tribute.
He said: “She was a very determined lady. Some people like to lead and that was her. She did an excellent job and was a very good listener – that is what separated her from other politicians.
“She would be very proud of us for doing something like this and it means a lot to me because it is nice to have something tangible that people can walk past and remember Lynne. I’m sure she’s up there somewhere keeping an eye on us all.”
The tribute was unveiled on Friday afternoon in front of dozens who knew the “determined and passionate” 61-year-old, including her successor as council leader Richard Cornelius and Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers.
Ms Villiers, who worked closely with Ms Hillan for more than eight years, said: “It still makes me sad because I do miss her. I still can’t quite believe she’s gone.
“I remember her as being motherly and very determined – she was a very smart politician and a good friend.”
Cllr Cornelius said Ms Hillan was “someone to admire”, adding that she was a fighter, both in her political life and in battling the disease.
A short service to unveil the bench on Friday afternoon was followed by tea and biscuits at the nearby school where people spoke of their memories of the late grandmother.
Her own mother, Anne Howard, said the memorial means a lot to her family. She said: “I’m very proud of her and it means everything to see her memory kept alive.”