Tributes to ‘courageous’ former council chairman

Barbara Palmer, pictured at an Age UK Horsham District event in  early 2013
Barbara Palmer, pictured at an Age UK Horsham District event in early 2013

Tributes have been paid to a ‘courageous’ and ‘wonderful’ former council chairman who passed away earlier this month.

Barbara Palmer represented the Denne ward at Horsham District Council from 1983 to 1996, served as chairman of the council in 1989-90 and chaired the finance and general purposes committee for six years.

Tricia Youtan, current chairman at HDC, announced that Barbara had passed away after a short illness in early February aged 83.

Liz Kitchen explained that Barbara was the first person to ‘take me under her wing’, and before she joined HDC in 1987, Barbara was one of only three female councillors.

She described how Barbara showed the men, without any pushing or fussing, that women had a lot to contribute to the council.

Liz said: “What a wonderful person she was and an excellent chairman.”

She also praised Barbara’s handling of the difficulties Horsham faced when Sainsbury’s was looking to build a new store in the town.

She explained: “She had the courage and it was courage then because she went through with it and went through hell, but she did it for the love of Horsham and she never ever forgot it was the Horsham district.”

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