Tributes have poured in for a former councillor, whose year as Mayor has been remembered as being filled with fun, after she died suddenly.
Lesley Ingham, who lived in Eastchurch, on Sheppey, passed away on June 3, aged 66.
Mrs Ingham took up the position as Mayor of Swale between 2016 and 2017. She had also served the people of Sheppey as ward councillor for Sheppey East – covering her village, Warden, Leysdown and Harty – for 11 years, from 2007 to 2018, and was chair of the licensing committee for several years.
Paying tribute, Cllr James Hunt, of The Meads, Sittingbourne, said: “Sorry to the other Mayors, but I still say that Lesley was the best Mayor we have had whilst I have been a member, and that year was certainly the most fun we have had at full council meetings.
"You could see the pride that Lesley took in the role.”
Cllr Paul Stephen, the current Mayor of Swale, said Mrs Ingham was “caring” and “respected and liked by all”.
He said: “On behalf of Swale council, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of former councillor and Mayor of Swale Lesley Ingham who sadly passed away recently.
“During her year as Mayor of Swale, Lesley showed her caring manner to everyone she met.
“Lesley was respected and liked by all her peers and performed her duties as Mayor with great gusto along with her Mayoress, Ashlee Brawn, her daughter.”
He added: “Lesley supported and promoted her chosen charity, Perthes’ Disease during her mayoral year and raised over £600 for the charity.
“Family and friends were very important to Lesley and she will be sorely missed by all who knew her.”
Cllr Ken Ingleton, who represents Minster Cliffs, added: “She was a very pleasant and accommodating woman who worked very hard for her locality and for the people she represented.”
Mrs Ingham’s daughter, Ashlee, thanked everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers.
On behalf of the family, she said: “The support from our close friends and family has been overwhelming. There are far too many people to name individually, but I’m sure they know who they are.”
She added: “It was one of the proudest moments of my mother’s political career when she became Mayor of her beloved borough of Swale.”
Mrs Ingham, a mother and grandmother, stood down from her post as Sheppey East ward councillor in March 2018.
At the time, the former nurse said she had resigned for personal and health reasons.
She added: “I’m going to spend more much-needed time with my granddaughters and just sit back and think about what’s next.
“I’d like to say a special thanks to all my residents who have voted for me over the past 11 years, I wouldn’t have been able to do my job without them. I have enjoyed it.”
Mrs Ingham said the highlight of her term was being Mayor of Swale. “That was one of the most amazing years of my life,” she said.