It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Sally Hannon earlier today. I express my sincere sympathies to Sally's family at this very sad time.
Sally was a very long-serving and consistent Liberal, having been a Young Liberal, a member of the Liberator magazine editorial collective for many years and, since 1991, a councillor on Newbury District Council and then West Berkshire Council. Recently she was chair of the Thames Valley Police Authority. She also served as case worker for David Rendel when he was MP for Newbury. She was a remarkably unstuffy Mayor of Newbury.
I think the best word to describe Sally is "spirited". She was highly intelligent and perceptive. When she was "on a roll", she was extremely engaging and funny. She was a model of a reliable councillor who was extremely knowledgeable in council and public body procedures and, when necessary, well ready and able to criticise them. It is only when you lose people like Sally that you realise what an extraordinarily loyal and dogged servant of the public and Liberalism she was.
As a tribute to Sally, I have reproduced here below the last Focus which featured her. It was distributed in her St Johns ward, Newbury, during January and February. In true Liberal style, her photo is on the front page twice.
Sally's husband, Paul, has kindly emailed many of Sally's colleagues including myself and says that "The funeral will take place on Friday May 25th at 2.30 p.m. in St Nicholas Church in the centre of Newbury. Afterwards there will be various beverages and refreshments in the adjacent church hall, and after that for those who share Sally's enjoyment of good company and are able to stay on, there will be an adjournment to a neighbouring hostelry - probably The Dolphin. Please pass this message on to those who you think would wish to know - Sally was keen that as many of her friends and colleagues as possible should be invited."