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Obituary: Christine Akeroyd

Obituary Christine AkeroydWe are sorry to record the passing Cllr Christine Akeroyd, a member of both Fylde Borough and St. Anne's on the Sea Town Councils.

She represented residents of Kilnhouse Ward where she lived, and had done so as a member of Fylde Council since 2002 (serving on the Public Protection, Tourism and Leisure, Audit, and Scrutiny Committees). She had also been a member of the St Annes on the Sea Town Council since 2005.

Cllr Akeroyd was one of very few councillors to have been chosen as Mayor of both St Annes Council (in 2012), and Fylde Borough in (2016/17).

Above all, she had a deep interest in people, and always saw the human side of decisions being taken.

To us, she always seemed less interested in policy and protocol, and more interested in the effect of policy on people, and most especially on her electorate.

As an example of what we mean, we have seen her speak at the Town Council's Planning Committee meeting where (whilst others were arguing the impact of some proposed development on the street scene or whatever) Cllr Akeroyd would focus on how big the bedrooms or bathrooms were, and whether she thought enough space had been allocated for the comfort of residents who might move into the proposed property.

Inkeeping with her concern for people, it was no surprise that in her Mayoral Year at Fylde she selected a Girl-Guiding Centre, Homestart, and a Forces charity as her personal choices, and for which she raised more than 20,000 She graced over 200 events with her Mayoral presence.

Her working life had been in the hospitality, catering and tourism industry. It has been said by others that she was famous for her confectionery - especially her Christmas Pudding - and we've no reason to doubt that.

She inherited a family of three when she married, moving from Middleton to St Annes in 1990.

We did not know Cllr Akeroyd as well as we know some of the councillors, but we can offer a couple of insights into her character.
 

Fairly recently, we lost a close friend; a former employee of Fylde Council, and someone with an intellect we greatly admired. Cllr Akeroyd, in her capacity as Mayor, attended his funeral. That doesn't happen for all former employees, and we thought it was lovely that she chose to do so.

We also recall her getting embroiled in some controversy regarding the closure of St Annes Swimming Pool in the days of Council Leader John Coombes. The St Annes Town Council had considered the proposed pool closures and Cllr Akeroyd and her sister had joined the other Town Councillors in voting to oppose the closure.

But when the Borough Council voted for closure, they too voted for closure.

At the next Town Council meeting there was very firm attack from a former town councillor for being two-faced and voting 'both' ways. Quite a few people we knew were also upset at what had happened.

We, however took a slightly different view. The Town Council's perspective differed because the Town Council's budget was unaffected by the decision whichever way it had gone. But the priorities in the Borough Council's budget would have been very different had the pools not been scheduled for closure.

So whilst we opposed the closure of the swimming pools, we saw no fundamental conflict in the decisions being different at Town and Borough Councils, and we covered this in our article 'Borough Babes: OK? of March 2008

Her funeral service was held at St Cuthbert's in Lytham, where the minister noted that they had first met when he moved to this parish.

This was also just before Cllr Akeroyd was to become Mayor of Fylde and at their first meeting she had asked if he would become her Chaplain for her Mayoral year and, he said, all of that had been agreed within the first hour of meeting her.

Poignantly, he also described sharing her illness - blood cancer - and noted they had shared several occasions of joint treatment in the haematology unit at the hospital.

He said her faith was important to her and it was part of who she was.

Fylde has lost a good and gentle person possessed of a deep sense of care for the wellbeing of others.

Dated:  03 April 2019

 

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