Saturday, 20 August 2022

Memorial commemorates former SODC leader

A MEMORIAL to South Oxfordshire District Council?s former leader Ann Ducker has been unveiled

A MEMORIAL to South Oxfordshire District Council?s former leader Ann Ducker has been unveiled.

The community noticeboard, which includes a plaque bearing her name, has been installed outside Westholme Stores in Wallingford Road, Goring.

Cllr Ducker represented the village on the council for 31 years until her death last year at the age of 71.

About 30 villagers attended Monday?s ceremony, including Kevin Bulmer, chairman of Goring Parish Council, and parish councillor David Brooker.

Cllr Ducker?s daughters Sarah Ducker and Catherine Tustain, who commissioned the board, gave a short speech of thanks then placed the first notice.

Miss Ducker, who lives in London but hopes to move back to the area, said: ?It?s lovely that Mum?s friends have come out to support this. Time moves on so quickly and it?s wonderful to know she is still fondly remembered.?

Mrs Tustain, who lives at the family home in Little Stoke, said: ?This is a lovely old-fashioned idea that will help people in the village by giving them a way to exchange information. It?s appropriate because she was all about community. That was her entire life.?

Jack Patel, who opened Westholme Stores 26 years ago, said: ?We always wanted a community board and were going to raise the funds to buy one but Sarah and Catherine offered to do it. Ann was the first person to welcome me when I moved to Goring, which I will never forget. We got on very well ? she was a very special person.?

The board was built by carpenter Simon Campbell, who lives in the village, while Goring Hardware in Red Cross Road made the plaque.

Cllr Ducker was first elected to the district council in 1983 and kept her seat at every subsequent election. She served as chairman from 1992 to 1994 and became leader of its Conservative group in 1995. She became council leader in 2003. In 2010 she was made an MBE for services to local government.

She also served as chairwoman of Goring Parish Council in the Eighties.

The parish council is to install a second memorial plaque at its cricket pavilion in Upper Red Cross Road.

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