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Obituaries: Jessica and Tony Page

Published on: 16 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 18 Nov, 2020

The death of former borough councillor Jessica Page has been announced by Guildford Borough Council. It follows the recent death of her husband Hon Alderman Tony Page.

A GBC spokesperson said: “It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of former councillor Jessica Page. She contributed greatly to the Effingham community, being involved with St Lawrence Church and organising Village Days.”

Mrs Page served as Effingham’s Borough Councillor from 1995 until 1999, following in the footsteps of her husband Tony who was Borough Councillor for the Effingham Ward from 1983 to 1995.

During her four years on the Borough Council, Jessica served on the Planning Committee and the former Arts & Recreation and Housing & Health Committees, as well as representing the council on the Guildford/Freiburg Association Executive Committee.

Following her time on the borough council she served on Effingham Parish Council for eight years, including five years as chair.

Cllr Marsha Moseley, Deputy Mayor of Guildford said: “We are saddened to hear of the death of Jessica Page and our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time, especially following the death of Honorary Alderman Tony Page in October.

“She was a valued member of the community. Jessica and Tony together served our community as councillors at parish, borough and county level for a remarkable 38 years. They are remembered with affection and gratitude by Effingham people.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

The current borough councillor for Effingham Liz Hogger said: “Jessica and Tony Page were leading members of the Effingham community for more than 50 years. Quite apart from their service as councillors, they contributed greatly to village life, for example organising Effingham’s Armada Day in 1988 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada under the leadership of the Lord Howard of Effingham. (More details of this can be found at https://elhg.org.uk/discovery/village-events/armada-day-1988/.)

“Both Jessica and Tony were enthusiastic supporters of Effingham Local History Group, contributing their memories and various artefacts to the Group’s archives. Jessica came to Effingham as a child with her parents in 1939, and her war-time gas-mask is now part of the group’s collection. Tony’s war-time service with the RAF was another significant link with the past, and both he and Jessica served terms as the Chairman of Effingham Parish Council, following in the footsteps of Sir Barnes Wallis in that role.

“I succeeded Jessica as Effingham’s Borough Councillor in 1999, when she stepped down from the Borough but immediately joined the Parish Council where she gave eight more years of service. Although both Tony and Jessica were loyal Conservatives, their friendly and courteous manner to me as a Liberal Democrat never changed. They were both perfect examples of councillors who put their community before any party political allegiance. Their long service to Effingham deserves to be remembered.”

And Parish council chairman Ian Symes added: “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Jessica Page. I remember Jessica as a formidable fighter for Effingham and the interests of its residents. She was very supportive of me personally and encouraged me to stand for the parish council back in 2007, in fact, she was the first to sign my nomination papers.

“One of Jessica’s great passions was preserving Effingham Common from development. She had the prescient belief that the Common was primarily an area for nature and that its use by residents and visitors should be balanced with the needs of wildlife.

“Jessica’s opinion, unusual at the time, is now in the mainstream and was the one adopted when Effingham formed its Neighbourhood Plan, and it was discovered that Effingham Common is, in fact, part of an important local wildlife network.

“I will remember Jessica for her service to Effingham, and for representing the interests of Effingham and its residents over many years.

The late Tony Page (left) with, on the right, Barnes Wallis

“Her husband Tony Page, who died a few weeks ago, was an Effingham Parish Councillor, and Chairman of the Effingham Parish Council from 1968 to 1980. Tony served as the Surrey County Councillor for the Horsleys Division, as a Guildford Rural District Councillor (1966-68) and as Guildford Borough Councillor (1983-95) for Effingham Ward until he retired from the Borough Council.

“Tony was Mayor of Guildford in 1992-93 and served on the Planning Committee between 1983-84 and 1995 and was Vice-Chairman of that Committee between 1987-88 and 1990-91.

“He represented the council as a Governor of Trinity Hospital and also on the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Trust for a number of years. On 1 October 2003, the Council conferred the title of Honorary Alderman on Tony in recognition of his eminent service rendered to the Council both as a councillor and as a past Mayor of the Borough.”

 

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