Tributes paid to Deputy Mayor Anne James, 66

Todmordcen Town Council Deputy Mayor, Coun Anne James
Todmordcen Town Council Deputy Mayor, Coun Anne James

Tributes have been paid to the Deputy Mayor of Todmorden, Coun Anne James, who has died after a long battle with illness.

Coun James, who was 66, was diagnosed with cancer in June 2012 but continued working for townspeople for as long as she could.

She became Deputy Mayor in May and would have taken on the role as the town’s civic head next year.

This week tributes have been paid to her wholehearted devotion to Todmorden since her election to the town council as Liberal Democrat candidate for Cornholme ward in 2007. She was also a member of Todmorden Accident Prevention Council and closely involved in the Partners and Community Together meetings.

Her daughter, a former Mayor of Todmorden Julie Stansfield, said her mum became more and more interested in representing townspeople when she was a councillor. “I used to discuss things with her then, and she was always interested. She cared about Todmorden a lot. It wasn’t just Cornholme but the wider town. She was very well liked,” she said.

Coun James was born in Burnley and the family lived in Hebden Bridge before moving to Todmorden, and among her jobs worked for quite some time in the family company, Todmorden Door and Window Centre. She always worked hard for her family and was devoted to her grandchildren.

This week former council colleague Philip Walters said: “I have known Anne for many years as a friend but when I was elected onto Todmorden Town Council in 2007, it was then I met the real Anne. She was exceptional in her role as councillor for Cornholme, always there for the people she served and giving her time to Todmorden.”

Coun Janet Battye, Calder ward councillor and Liberal Democrat leader on Calderdale Council, said: “I knew that Anne was seriously ill but she had a very positive and business-like attitude and I really hoped that she would recover. She enjoyed getting things done. I will really miss her,” she said.

Condolences have also been received from Todmorden Town Council’s officers.

Her funeral service will be held on Monday, July 29, at 10.30am at St Joseph’s Church, Todmorden, followed by burial at Lumbutts. Afterwards there will be a get-together to remember and celebrate Coun James’ life at the Fielden Centre, Ewood Lane, Todmorden, said Julie. The centre will open from noon and everyone is welcome to attend. Flowers will be from family and close friends, with donations welcome for the West Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which had been chosen by Coun James for her mayoral charity next year. Coun James leaves her partner David Roberts, daughters Julie and Vikki and son Stephen and their families, including grandchildren Oliver, Joshua, Eden and Emerson, niece Sarah and Oliver and Joshua’s partners Laurie and Emily.