Councillor who served 12 years on Torridge District Council was ‘hard working and genuine’.

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"We got on very well; she had a very keen sense of humour and truly spoke for the rural areas of Torridge with down to earth common sense."

Councillor Chris Leather

A FORMER Torridge councillor who served the area for 12 years has passed away aged 89.

Joan Hardwicke was elected councillor for Heanton Ward, now known as Shebbear and Langtree, in 1991 and represented the ward until 2003.

Described as an active person in the community, Joan, who lived in Petrockstowe, was remembered by her former colleagues for her hard work.

Torrington ward Councillor Margaret Brown said: “She used to deliver the farm milk to local people daily, this kept her in touch with her constituents and so she knew most of them personally.”

She was also known well by Councillor Chris Leather, who said: “I well remember Joan, I served my first term, 1999 to 2003, with Joan, which proved to be her last four years on Torridge.

“We got on very well; she had a very keen sense of humour and truly spoke for the rural areas of Torridge with down to earth common sense.

“She and Bill Tanton were quite a ‘double act’ on occasions, with quiet asides and comments.

“She very thoughtfully phoned me after I lost my seat by two votes in 2003, asking me in her broad Devon accent, ‘what have you been doing with your seat’.

“She was a genuine local councillor, who cared greatly for all Torridge, and spoke great sense.”

Vanessa Saunders, special projects officer at Torridge added: “As an officer I always found Cllr Hardwicke to be most helpful and concerned for the benefit of her residents.

“She was always interested in staff and their welfare too.”

Council leader Barry Parsons said although he never knew Cllr Hardwicke she was a ‘find example of how a member should act’.

He said: “I’ve been told that she was a community spirited councillor who cared very much about her constituents and fought hard for rural Torridge.

“My sympathies and condolences go out to her family and friends at this time.”

The funeral will be held at Petrockstowe Methodist Chapel on Monday at 2pm.

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