Long-serving councillor Joan Williams, 81, dies of cancer

Long-serving South Staffordshire district councillor Joan Williams has died at the age of 81.

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Tributes were today being paid to Councillor Williams, who was described by colleagues as “passionate” and “committed”. She died following a year-long battle against throat cancer.

Councillor Williams, of Springhill Lane, Lower Penn, had served on the council since 1979.

She was also a prominent member of Wombourne Parish Council.

As cabinet member for environmental services at South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Williams oversaw the authority’s waste and recycling collections as well as the council’s four leisure centres and Baggeridge Country Park.

In 2004, she oversaw the introduction of alternate weekly bin and recycling collections which helped propel South Staffordshire to become one of the greenest authorities in the country.

She was also the leading figure in delivering the much-needed Sytch Lane cemetery in Wombourne and seeing through plans for the new Strawberry Lane Cemetery, which will serve Cheslyn Hay and Great Wyrley.

She leaves a husband, fellow district councillor Reg Williams.

Councillor Brian Edwards, leader of South Staffordshire Council said: “It’s obviously a very sad time. I’ve known Joan for many, many years and she gave her all to this council.

“She continued to work up until very recently and her passion for the job never waned – but that just typified her stoicism and her commitment to her role as a local councillor.”

Mrs Williams’ funeral is to take place on October 15 at 10.30am at St Benedict Biscop Church, Wombourne.