Thoughts are with the family and friends of Councillor Syd Stavrou who has passed away.
The Chairman and Leader of Epping Forest District Council are among those offering their condolences. Councillor Stavrou passed away after a long battle with illness.
The Council flags were lowered as a mark of respect.
An influential and respected councillor
Councillor Stavrou was one of the most influential and respected councillors of the last 20 years. Until recently, Councillor Stavrou was Deputy Leader of Epping Forest District Council. Before that, she made her name in Waltham Abbey and served several terms as the Town Council Mayor.
Councillor Syd Stavrou became district councillor for Waltham Abbey High Beach in 2002.
Over the following years, Councillor Stavrou held many of the most senior political positions on Epping Forest District Council including Community Wellbeing, Finance and Housing Portfolio Holder on the Council’s Cabinet.
Councillor Stavrou was one of nature’s most powerful forces. She was endowed with a forceful and fiery personality, combined with a love of life. Not a person to be trifled with, she could also be the life and soul of the party, living life to the full.
A strong personality and intensely loyal
Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council has lost a long-term friend. He said:
My heart goes out to Syd’s family at this sad time. She had been unwell before but won the first battle with cancer and made a brilliant comeback only for it to return later. Syd fought it all the way, always striving to do her duty for her beloved High Beach and Waltham Abbey and the wider district.
She was a strong personality and intensely loyal to her friends. As Leader and Deputy, we worked closely for many years. Syd was never afraid to say when she felt I was wrong or there was a better way. I will miss her counsel and the district is a poorer place for her passing.
Always there to help
Councillor Helen Kane, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and fellow councillor on Waltham Abbey Town Council said:
It is a very sad time for all of us who worked alongside Syd for many years. Very loyal to her constituents and her friends, although a private person.
Syd has always been there to help me during my early days as a Town Councillor and later to support me as a Cabinet member in EFDC, but I will always remember the fun evenings when we got together. I certainly will miss her and I am finding it very difficult to accept she is no longer with us.
Grateful to the RAF
Councillor Stavrou unexpectedly shared an insight into her upbringing. On the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the RAF in April 2016, councillors convened in a special meeting to confer the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron, the longest serving squadron at RAF North Weald.
Following the motion to confer the Freedom, Syd Stavrou rose to her feet and told the story of the father she never knew, killed in action over Germany during WWII.
Syd was extremely grateful to the RAF which in the years after, had supported her mother and funded her education. The ethos of service for which her father had died and she saw in the RAF’s support during her formative years clearly flowed on in her work for the residents of Waltham Abbey and Epping Forest district alike.
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