Tributes to former council chairman

Janice Mackelden SUS-160111-123626001

Janice Mackelden SUS-160111-123626001

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Janice Mackelden, who has died aged 72, worked tirelessly as a community leader from the late 1970s to the 1990s.

Janice was a parish councillor (Turners Hill), district councillor (Mid Sussex, including chairman from 1988-89), and governor and chair of Imberhorne School. Janice supported village groups and organisations in many ways, and quietly helped residents who needed support of one kind or another.

When an elderly couple, born in Turners Hill, had to move from the village in order to find suitable accommodation for their last years, Janice was horrified. That event made her determined to have suitable sheltered accommodation in the village for local people. Janice discussed her thoughts with councillors who were fully supportive. As with many things that Janice took on the size of the scheme kept growing until, after much planning and negotiations with Mid Sussex District Council, Paddockhurst Estate and residents, The Ark and Noahs Court in Turners Hill were constructed. The council had worked hard to bring about this scheme but it was Janice and her strong leadership that made it possible.

Other notable achievements in Janice’s lifetime was clearing of the Turners Hill village pond, involving national volunteer groups, establishing the Turners Hill Twinning Association, producing the Village Guide, and numerous fundraising initiatives. She was a member of the ward committee that led to the establishment of the Turners Hill Society which pushed for the establishment of Turners Parish Council in 1986.

As chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, Janice established the Garden Parties to recognise and thank local volunteers from each parish, which still continue to this day. Her strength of character, high standards and sense of humour helped to establish Turners Hill Parish Council as a leading local authority.

Janice fought a long battlewith cancer, and died peacefully at St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley. Her Service of Thanksgiving is at St Leonard’s Church, Turners Hill on Thursday November 10 at 2pm.