‘A little hurricane’: Friends and colleagues share memories of politician and former teacher

Former Aylesbury mayor Chloe Willetts and below, with her granddaughters Eliza and Madeleine, and wearing a hat on her 75th birthday
Former Aylesbury mayor Chloe Willetts and below, with her granddaughters Eliza and Madeleine, and wearing a hat on her 75th birthday

Heartfelt tributes have poured in following the death of a ‘well-respected’ and ‘passionate’ stalwart councillor.

Liberal Democrat Chloe Willetts, who was mayor of Aylesbury from 1992 to 1994, passed away peacefully in hospital on Friday, January 23 at the age of 79 following a long illness.

Mrs Willetts and her late husband Bill were founding members of the Aylesbury branch of the Social Democratic Party – which later became the Liberal Democrats.

Bill passed away in 1989 and Mrs Willetts was first elected as a district councillor in the same year, going on to represent Southcourt, The Grange and Coldharbour during her 18 years of service.

In 1993, she was elected onto the county council for the Aylesbury East and Bierton division.

Before becoming involved in politics, Mrs Willetts – who leaves children Rachel, 52, Richard, 50 and Rebecca, 47 – enjoyed a lengthy career as a much-loved teacher at four Aylesbury primary schools spanning nearly four decades.

She taught at Queen’s Park first, then moved on to Elmhurst, Oak Green and Ashmead before retiring in the late 80s.

Mrs Willetts lived in Wendover Road, Aylesbury with son Richard, his wife Shoshana and their three children Joel, 15, Eliza, 13 and Madeleine, nine.

Richard said: “Mum was always cheerful, and she took a lot of people in if they didn’t have a place to stay. Growing up, we had lodgers so that was just normal for us.

“She did an awful lot in her life and since her passing we have been inundated with calls and messages, so it’s lovely to know that people appreciated her.”

Daughter-in-law Shoshana said: “The thing about Chloe was, if she said she was going to do it, she did.

“She was such an energising character. Her death is going to be a real loss to Aylesbury.”

Bucks County Council’s vice chairman Bill Chapple said: “Chloe was a great believer in fairly representing the residents in her division and gave tirelessly of her time and effort to serve them over 17 years as a county councillor.

“She was highly regarded for her sterling work on the County Council Education Committee and latterly on the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and for her work as a school governor.”

Chloe’s colleague and leader of the Lib Dem opposition Steven Lambert said: “Chloe was very well read and very engaging – she was an absolute character.

“She was very much a community activist and believed in old fashion democracy, where everyone played a part.

“She was a little hurricane – she just got on with it. I will miss her terribly.”

Mr Lambert said the mother-of-three was instrumental in championing a motion passed in Parliament to get health visitors attached to specific families, rather than getting those on duty to visit new mothers at random.

Mrs Willetts will be cremated at Amersham Crematorium at 11.30am on Monday, February 16 and all are welcome to attend.

A church service to celebrate her life will follow at St Mary’s in Aylesbury, 
where her family welcome those who knew Mrs Willetts to join the service and remember her.