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Thursday, 16 October 2014

COUNCIL JOIN IN PRAISE OF FIONA BUXTON


A Memorial service for Fiona Buxton will be held at 2.00pm on Friday, 21st November at Christ Church Kensington, Victoria Road, W8 5RQ




At tonight's Council meeting there was much sadness and emotion. 
For once political opponents came together to praise and remember Fiona Buxton.
Fiona represented all that is good in British public service and it must have been a great comfort for her family to have heard the lavish and heart felt tributes paid to her.

Cllr Moylan, Fiona's fellow ward councillor, opened the evening. 
He spoke of Fiona's courage as she contemplated her early death. 
He spoke of what she had given to the community and how much more she had to give.
He told of how Fiona's children were a testament to her excellence as a mother and how he never wanted to challenge them on their specialised knowledge of dinosaurs-a subject they had great knowledge of!
He talked of how she really cared for all those in the community she was elected to serve:especially, the vulnerable. 
He ended by saying how the passage of time would not diminish people's fond memory of her.

Cllr Joanna Gardner –  spoke of Fiona's belief in the importance of getting women into front line of politics and helping others to succeed. 
She talked about how Fiona cared about the people around her and her big heartedness. 
She was an excellent Cabinet member who took on housing, health care, adult social services. 
She was a familiar sight bicycling around the Borough and always accessible; always a friend. 
Cllr Gardner ended by saying Fiona had such a love of life and so much to give, a bright light dimmed much too early.

Cllr David Lindsay – spoke of Fiona’s friendship, generosity of spirit and skill at getting the best out of everyone and every situation. 
He said she could be irreverent, fun, mischievous, with a great sense of humour.  
A community representative had told him she was the most value driven politician he had ever met; conscientious and doing what was best for each individual.  
He read a moving poem which he felt summed up Fiona's life....
“You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.

Cllr Thompson 

Gave thanks for Fiona's life and how he knew her as her vicar.  
He said he chimed with her....her liveliness and practical approach to life. 

Cllr Mary Weale who succeeded Fiona on Adult Social Care described how she tackled the difficult tasks and challenges and was not afraid to make a difference,  
She had opened Piper House, a home for some of our younger vulnerable people whilst ill, but still found time to talk to all the families and how her life was an example to others.


Cllr Tim Coleridge  spoke about how Fiona would not only be missed as a fellow councillor, but also by the community. 
He  talked of how she had persuaded him to help turn Focus K&C into the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation – she had taken it upon herself to work with people who were not Conservatives but wanted to make a difference in the community. 
Thanks to Fiona she got this all together and building a very successful charity to enable local people to support local charities.  
She bullied him when he was Mayor to start the project off and now, a few years on,  over £2m had been raised.
He ended by saying had it not been for Fiona we would never have got a proper community foundation.

Cllr Robert Freeman -
I first met Fiona shortly after she and Edward moved into my ward, it must have been some 18 years ago.  I remember being struck above all by her sense of humour.  She was genuinely funny and incisive and she had what many people have called a wicked sense of humour.  Wicked possibly but also self-deprecating and never unkind.   She was bright in every sense of the word, intelligent, thoughtful, good company and full of vitality.
When she became a councillor social care was a ‘natural’ for her.  It was not just her considerable ability as a manager, but her energy, vitality and friendliness.  She was kind, truly caring, always happy to listen and determined that people for whom she was responsible should lead full and purposeful lives.      
Colleagues well beyond this borough had been certain a national role lay ahead.  Sadly her illness cruelly prevented this.
I saw Fiona in hospital and also shortly before she died.  Her courage was remarkable.  She was very ill but the wicked sense of humour and the vitality were still there, undimmed by the illness.  She told me that she looked on each day as a bonus and we talked about her career and what might have been both here in Kensington and Chelsea and nationally.  She said you know the only thing is that for me what always came first was my family and Fiona was above all a family person.

Fiona was a true friend and someone whose loss as a friend and as a colleague all of us feel very deeply.


Cllr Pat Mason  I remember Fiona cycling around on her bicycle. 
We have heard the long list of committees she served on, but she was a Councillor who believed in making things better for her residents.  
She was well respected by all sides.  
The tributes brought back memories of his own mother who had died of cancer so he appreciated this was a very difficult time for her family.


Cllr Emma Will  I find this very difficult, as it is impossible to sum up what a wonderful person Fiona was.... warm, clever, kind, funny, generous of her time to me, helpful with her advice,  passionate about her work, and never taking herself seriously.  
Her family’s loss is unbearable to contemplate. This council is diminished by her loss.

Cllr Nick Paget Brown – Leader
This is a very sad blow to her family but also an enormous loss to this Council.  Fiona was an effective, endearing colleague who took on the most difficult field of policy – health, hospital and home care, adult social service ........  
She cut through the complexities, and held the attention of the whole Chamber when she spoke.  
She dealt with the restructuring of the NHS and the new responsibilities it bought to the Council effectively and mastered all the new regulations dealing with them all authoritatively.
She was effective, and had a voice across London, and was respected across London,  Whatever she did she would bring her passion and love of life.  
We celebrated the opening of Piper House with her, and she was wonderful with all the vulnerable residents, so caring, and still had so much more to give.  
She was destined to be a future leader of the Council or an MP. 
Whatever she would have done would have been successful.  
She was a loving wife, mother, and friend to all....not just a successful and respected politician and human being.

After a minutes silence the Mayor took the family out to the Parlour and Cllr Robert Atkinson (Deputy) took the Chair.


2 comments:

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Fiona Buxton soon after her election and had the pleasure of spending two days with her introducing her to some of the on going and planned work of my department. Her wish to grasp the detail and question whether decisions were still right and in the best interests of the people the council served was breath taking.

    Over the course of two days we went through a lot of detail and of course we also chatted about a few things that were not work related too. Her sharp wit and intelligence made her an absolute pleasure to be with. We had a few more good conversations over the years although we were not working in the same areas any more but I always enjoyed meeting her and some of the mental jousting that took place. One of her favourite lines to me was 'now tell me honestly, leave the politics out of it and just tell me'. Then I did, nothing held back and we had some great debates as two adults. I learned a lot, I hope she learned something back.

    The world is a poorer place without her.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Workedatrbkc for a charming tribute to a lady who was clearly very well liked by RBKC staff as well as all those who knew and liked her.

    ReplyDelete

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