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Councillor loses long struggle to cancer

Dudley | News | Published:

A councillor who carried on serving her local community throughout an eight-year battle with cancer has died.

A councillor who carried on serving her local community throughout an eight-year battle with cancer has died.

Margaret Cowell, aged 72, who represented Wollaston and Stourbridge Town on Dudley Council, died at Himley Mill Nursing Home in School Road, Himley. Her daughter, Jackie, and sons, Adrian and Phil, were at her bedside.

Conservative Councillor Mrs Cowell, who was also a stepmother of two and grandmother of three, was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after winning her seat in 2003.

Despite undergoing radiotherapy and surgery, she carried on working as a councillor and won two more elections.

She discovered, just over a year ago, that the disease had spread to her brain but she battled through her treatment to victory in the May elections – when daughter Jackie, a Labour campaigner, won her first cou- ncil seat, Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood.

Jackie, aged 41, said: "She never let her illness interfere with the work she did – it helped to keep her going."

Councillor Cowell, of Park Road West, Wollaston, was born in Kingswinford and used to be an administrator for West Midlands Travel.

Her husband, Doug, died aged 93, soon after she discovered that her cancer had spread to her brain.

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Dudley Council leader Les Jones paid tribute to Councillor Cowell. He said: "She was a very well respected and loyal councillor. She will be missed by us as well as the community she served."

Councillor Jones said that the start of the borough's doorstep collections of plastics and cardboard for recycling would be a legacy of Councillor Cowell.

She chaired the environmental committee that dev-eloped the plans.

Stourbridge MP Margot James said: "Margaret bore her illness with such bravery and dignity and she served the people of Wollaston and Stourbridge town exceptionally well over the years."

The date of her funeral has yet to be arranged.

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