Published Tuesday, 30th August 2016
It is with deep regret we announce that Councillor Mrs Joan Spiers, Ward Member for Kingswood and Burgh Heath, sadly passed away on 29 August 2016.
Paying tribute to Cllr Mrs Spiers, Council Leader Cllr Victor Broad said: "I am extremely saddened by the news of Joan’s sudden passing. She will be remembered for her dedication and hard work for the Borough Council as its Leader, as a councillor for 32 years and as Mayor of our borough during 2015-16.
"Cllrs Mrs Spiers was respected by her ward and borough residents, on whose behalf she worked tirelessly and by the Councillors and officers she worked with. We should not forget her significant contribution as Mayor – a role she made her own with her energy and enthusiasm."
“She was committed to the well-being of our residents, determined to solve their problems and she will be missed. I am privileged to have been able to work with her and experience her complete dedication to her work here, at first hand.
"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”
Cllr Spiers was the elected Ward Member for Kingswood and Burgh Heath from May 1984 until her death.
During this period, in addition to her time as Leader of the council from 2003-2007 and 2008-2014, she chaired the Housing and Community Services Committee and the Housing Sub-Committee as well as served on a number of Committees including the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Employment Committee, Planning Committee, the Local Joint Forum, Partnership Committee, Policy and Resources Committee, Community Services Committee, Housing Sub-Committee and Contract Services Board.
She was also a representative to the Surrey Local Government Association (2003 – 2007) and to the Local Government Association General Assembly (2008 – 2009).
Among her valuable ward work, Cllr Mrs Spiers was the first Leader under the new Leader and Cabinet structure introduced in 2003 and guided the council through the establishment of this new model. She also ensured the Council maintained a strong financial position throughout her tenure and in particular during the global financial crisis of 2008.
During her time as Mayor Cllr Mrs Spiers’ role saw her officiate at the opening of Tadworth Leisure Centre, represent the borough at the Magna Carta Festival of Liberty, regularly take part in Armed Forces events including Armistice Day, Poppies at the Belfry and Remembrance Sunday, lay the VC Stone in Memorial Park for Rupert Price Hallows and participated in many fetes, carnivals and flower shows , always keen to meet residents, particularly the children in the borough. She was particularly proud of introducing the concept of Mini Mayor which provided a child from the borough with the opportunity to step into that role for the day to help with civic engagements.
She was keen to support YMCA East Surrey and the Royal British Legion as her charities during her time as Mayor, raising £40,000 in this year for charity – a combination of money raised from events during the year, a donation of her remaining Mayoral Allowance and through her personal donation. Always keen to help many different groups across the borough, the theme for her mayoral year was ‘Encompass All.’