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Tributes following the death of the Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Cynthia Barker

Last Modified September 16, 2020

Our elected members and staff are deeply saddened by the death of the serving Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Cynthia Barker, following a period of illness.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this extremely sad and difficult time, and we send them our sincerest condolences. 

The council’s flag flies at half-mast outside civic offices as a mark of respect.    

Cynthia was appointed to the highly prestigious role in June this year, having served as Deputy Mayor last year, and had been a borough councillor for Borehamwood’s Kenilworth and Potters Bar wards since 2015.  

She was the first Philippines-born elected representative in the borough, extremely proud of her heritage and committed to doing her utmost to champion equality and diversity for all our communities in Hertsmere. She was also chosen as one of the 100 most influential Filipinas by the Filipina Women’s Network. 

Responding to the very sad news, Leader of the Council, Cllr Morris Bright MBE, said: “I knew Cynthia as both a colleague and friend. Nothing was ever too much for her. She thrived at being a local councillor, always wanting to help residents with their issues. She left a lasting impression on the council and Borehamwood.

“We are all struggling to take in the sad news at the moment but I am sure we will all remember Cynthia as a kind, wonderful person who was a hard working community representative. My thoughts and prayers go out to Cynthia’s family and friends.” 

Managing Director, Sajida Bijle, added: “My sincere condolences, on behalf of all the staff at Hertsmere Borough Council, are extended to Cynthia’s family and friends.  I know how honoured she was to be appointed to Deputy Mayor last year and then as Mayor, and how much she enjoyed undertaking a whole host of duties across our communities.  She will be greatly missed by us all.”

Cllr Jeremy Newmark, Leader of the Labour group, added: ““It was a privilege to have known and worked with Cynthia.  She was a trailblazer and role model for women and minorities in local government.  Cynthia was kind and supportive to me personally when I was first elected as a councillor, despite being on opposite sides of the political divide. 

“She brought grace and dignity to the office of Mayor but was always approachable and down to earth, particularly when engaging with children and young people.  Her commitment to charitable causes, notably the NSPCC and the Rotary Club, was relentless. May her memory continue to inspire us all.”

Cllr Andrew Melville, Leader of the Liberal Democrats group, concluded: “The news is very sad about our dear friend Cynthia. I would just like to say how kind and friendly she was. She will be remembered for her warm heart and kindness towards her fellow councillors. I wish to pass on my deepest condolences to her family and friends at this extremely difficult time. May she rest in peace.”

Posted on Monday 14th September 2020

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