Husband pays moving tribute to Peterborough councillor who lost battle with coronavirus and cancer

The husband of a Peterborough councillor who lost her fight with coronavirus and cancer has paid a moving tribute to her.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 9:46 am

Louise Coles, a Conservative representative for Fletton and Woodston on Peterborough City Council, passed away on Thursday.

The former teacher had been elected last May, and her death prompted an outpouring of tributes.

Her husband Andy Coles, who is also a Conservative councillor for the same ward, has now paid his own personal tribute.

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Andy Coles and Louise Coles

Cllr Coles said: “Louise was an amazing teacher at Peterborough School when we first met and many of her ex students have been in touch to tell me of the efforts she made to help them in learning French and also when she was head of the school’s sixth form.

“When she retired from teaching she wanted to continue her charitable and community activities she had been leading in school and joined me in helping to run our local community association.

“Louise had also been volunteering for the RNIB, with Sue Ryder at Thorpe Hall and at the Red Cross, volunteering to help in the settlement of refugees and asylum seekers, where her organisational skills and facility with languages were soon put to good use - 12 years of teaching at an international school in Egypt had given her a fluency in classical Arabic.

“Louise first stood as a council candidate in Central ward in 2018, but was unsuccessful. However, undaunted, she then joined me as a candidate in Fletton and Woodston ward and won her seat in 2019 where she has since worked really hard to make positive changes to our local environment and to deal with many different problems where residents sought her help.

“She was also made a trustee of the Green Backyard and was active in supporting South Grove Community Centre.

“Louise has also been extremely active on a number of council committees, particularly in the areas of communities and the care of adults and education where she had significant experience and knowledge looking after children and young people which has always been her passion, and also in public health, perhaps the most significant area of council business in this time of lockdown.

“I have been overwhelmed with the many messages of support and tributes about Louise from residents who shared with me the efforts she had made to help them; from members of the various charities where she had been volunteering and from fellow councillors and council officers which have been so heartwarming.

“I was very lucky to be part of her life and, I know while I and her daughter Ella are coming to terms with our personal grief, she will be sorely missed by so many more people who got to know her.

“We take solace in the words of her favourite Islamic poet and scholar, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī - ‘Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation’.”