Tributes to councillor Saskia Heasman

Tributes have been flooding in after the sudden death of a well-known councillor in the Manhood peninsula.

Saskia Heasman was Birdham parish clerk for nine years and served as a councillor with her husband Chris for Donnington Parish Council (DPC).

Mr Heasman, who had been married to Saskia for 15 years, said he was in 'great shock' and she would be 'greatly missed'.

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Birdham Parish Council chairman Roger Tilbury said: "She was due to go to a meeting for Birdham Parish Council before she died.

"When I was told I was absolutely stunned and so was everyone who knew her. We have great sympathy for her husband Chris for his sudden loss. It was totally unexpected.

"Saskia was a careful and methodical clerk and we could always rely on her professional advice and judgement. In a short time she became a great strength to the council."

As well as working for Birdham Parish Council, Saskia was a councillor for DPC. Clerk for the council Ann Pearce has also paid tribute to her.

She said: "Saskia had been a very active member of DPC since 2004, taking responsibility for chairing the planning committee and attending many meetings of other organisations on behalf of the parish council.

"She will be sadly missed. The parish council extends its condolences to her husband, Chris, also a member of the council."

DPC chairman John Ridd will temporarily fill Saskia's shoes on the planning committee.

Saskia, 63, was also clerk to West Itchenor Parish Council for two years and to the Apuldram Parish Meetings.

She was a member of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, vice-chairman of the Chichester District Association of Local Councils and a representative on the Sussex Association.

Saskia passed away suddenly on September 7. A post mortem revealed she had died as a result of heart failure.

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