Former County Councillor Jean Fooks
Statement from Nick Graham, Oxfordshire County Council's Director of Law and Governance, Oxfordshire County Council following the sad news that former county councillor Jean Fooks has passed away:
It is with huge regret and great sadness that we have yesterday learnt of the loss of former Councillor Jean Fooks, who passed away last night.
Many of you will be aware that Cllr Fooks was a long-standing member of the Oxford City Council, having been first elected as the Liberal Democrat member of the North Ward in May 1992, moving to the Summertown Ward in 2006 following a boundary change, and finally standing down in May 2018.
As well as being a member for the Oxford City Council, Cllr Fooks was elected as the Liberal Democrat member for Oxfordshire County Council’s Oxford Cherwell Division in June 2001. She was re-elected in May 2005 and June 2009 for Summertown & Wolvercote Division. In May 2013, she was returned as the member for Wolvercote & Summertown Division, finally standing down in May 2017.
During her final year as an Oxfordshire politician she concentrated on her role as Lord Mayor for the City of Oxford – something which until her retirement she had felt “far too busy” to undertake. This provided her with a year she really enjoyed, whilst winding down and planning her move to be nearer family members. She was appointed as an Alderman by the Oxford City Council as recently as 26th November 2018.
Cllr Fooks had been very ill for the last couple of months, and it is incredibly sad that having recently re-located after many years as a resident of Oxford, she has not been able to fully enjoy her house and garden during her retirement in Somerset.
Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, said:
“I was deeply saddened to hear this news, particularly as Jean did not have long to enjoy her well-earned retirement.
“Jean was always so full of life and enthusiasm. This was reflected in her enormous contribution to the county council by tirelessly representing the residents in her division and championing the causes in which she passionately believed.
“My deep condolences go to the family, who should know that she was a much-loved member of the county council.”
The Labour group leader on Oxfordshire County Council, County Councillor Liz Brighouse, said:
"It is very sad to hear of the death of Jean Fooks. A thoroughly decent woman who cared deeply about the most vulnerable in our communities and knew only too well of the trials faced by many. She passed away having given her life selflessly to the end to others. Liz Brighouse Leader of the Labour Group and Opposition."
The Liberal Democrat group leader on Oxfordshire County Council, County Councillor Richard Webber, said:
"Jean’s passing has hit us all badly. She was enormously brave but also a very private person. Few of us were even aware that she had been very ill. But that was typical of her. Determined to cope with whatever life threw at her, Jean would not have wanted to worry her many friends and colleagues.
"Whilst the Liberal Democrat Group feels shocked and saddened,the many warm messages from colleagues across the Council has underlined the high esteem in which she was held by all of us.
"On a personal note, I will miss her wise advice,based on 25 years of experience, and her friendship and support. Perhaps saddest of all is that none of us will be able to see her in her new home in Devon where she was so much looking forward to retiring and entertaining."