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Sandwich town councillor and Town Team chairman Sue Laslett has died

A hard-working councillor, chairman of the Town Team and community event organiser in Sandwich has died.

Susan Laslett, nee Holroyde, died aged 65, on Wednesday, May 13, from pancreatic cancer.

Her husband Steve Laslett has thanked the doctors and nurses at Pilgrims Hospice in Margate, where she spent her final weeks, for all their help and support.

Sue Laslett, town councillor and community event organiser
Sue Laslett, town councillor and community event organiser

Mrs Laslett was born and grew up in Halifax, West Yorkshire, attending Leicester University where she met her husband Steve in 1968, and the pair were married in 1972.

She worked as a social worker and team manager in Birmingham where the couple lived for many years until her retirement to Sandwich seven years ago.

Speaking about her time as a social worker, Mr Laslett said: “She was extremely hard-working in a difficult environment; was very thorough and very caring.”

She was an independent town councillor for four years in Sandwich, a volunteer for the Guildhall Museum and managed the library craft group.

She was also chairman of the Town Team and last year organised the Lorry Watch scheme, which saw a positive impact on the town leading to additional funding and awareness.

Sue Laslett, shop manager Kathy Wilson and Steve Laslett celebrating the opening of The Sandwich Shop
Sue Laslett, shop manager Kathy Wilson and Steve Laslett celebrating the opening of The Sandwich Shop

Mr Laslett said: “She had so many compliments that she expressed herself in a very independent way.”

He said she always stood up for what she believed in and achieved a lot for the town.

She also helped to open up the Sandwich Shop, Cattle Market, with her husband, in July 2013.

This is a community interest company with profits going back to the town to help boost tourism including helping to fund the inaugural Sandwich Arts Week.

He said: “Sue managed the interior design for the shop, which showed her artistic flair and good taste that was complimented by many people.

“She has helped me enormously as we both sat on the Sandwich Town Council Tourism Committee and Sandwich Community Events Association to put on the annual events: Food Fayre, Le Weekend, Folk & Ale and Arts Week in addition to the Sandwich Festival and Christmas Lights which were already in hand before we came to Sandwich.”

She leaves behind two children: Peter, 35, who lives in London and Joanne, 33, who lives in Cornwall.

Mr Laslett said: “Jo is expecting our first grandchild in July. We are very sad Sue will not see her first grandchild.”

He thanked the large number of well-wishers for their cards, notes and emails.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 27, at Barham Crematorium for family members. This will be followed by a celebration of Sue’s life at the Guildhall from 4pm until 7pm – all are welcome to attend.

The family ask that instead of flowers, donations are given to Pilgrims Hospice, care of J Dilnot and Son Funeral Directors, Beacon Lane, Woodnesborough, Sandwich, CT13 0PD.

Sandwich Town Council and the Mayor of Sandwich said: “Sue Laslett was a town councillor between 2011 and 2015, and did a tremendous amount of work in the community beyond her role as a councillor – many residents will be particularly aware of her work with the Sandwich Town Team and with Lorry Watch.

Sue celebrating Discovery Park's anniversary with colleagues
Sue celebrating Discovery Park's anniversary with colleagues

“She demonstrated at all times, and in all she did, an absolute commitment to this town and its people.

“Sandwich Town Council extends its sincere sympathy to her family and friends at this very sad time.”

Pip Russell, former deputy mayor, said: “Our thoughts have been very much with Sue and Steve Laslett over the past few months and their suffering has deeply affected the councillors and staff at The Guildhall.

“Sue and I sat next to one another at council meetings.

“Sue was a ‘terrier’. I could sense her tension whenever a topic arose that she disagreed with or when she had a point she really wanted to make.

“Sue never failed to do her homework on subjects she felt strongly about and put enormous energy into attempting to sort out traffic problems in the town, including the Lorry Watch project that brought into sharp focus the numbers of heavy vehicles and buses that daily rumble through Sandwich, often causing damage to buildings, polluting the atmosphere and posing potential danger to life and limb.

“Sue’s vigour and sense of purpose will be missed and we are saddened by her departure.
She has, however, left a legacy of both achievement and energy. I send my condolences to Steve and to all of her family.”

Cllr Mark Moorhouse said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Steve and Sue Laslett in April 2009, when they first returned to Sandwich via Steve’s participation in the Sandwich-Honfleur Twinning Association.

“They were a generous and charismatic couple.

“When Sue became a town councillor her attention to detail and integrity, allied to her extensive knowledge about the machinery of local government, made her an outstanding councillor.

“Her passing is a sad loss to me personally, as I very much enjoyed Steve and Sue’s company. Her service to Sandwich during her brief time as a councillor set an example to aspire to.”

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