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Tributes paid to community activist Connie Hunt, who died aged 88

Connie (left) speaking during the People's Armada to Parliament 1984 Connie (left) speaking during the People's Armada to Parliament 1984

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
6:05 PM

Tributes have been paid by both of Newham’s MPs to much-loved community activist, Connie Hunt, who died in her sleep aged 88.

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Connie's hearse arriving at the cemeteryConnie's hearse arriving at the cemetery

She dedicated her life to fighting for the North Woolwich and Silvertown working class community, battling for the rights of residents.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms, who became a friend to Connie in her later life, was one of the mourners to attend her funeral at the East London Cemetery.

“I first met her in the 1980s when she was campaigning against London City Airport,” he said.

“I didn’t agree with her about that, but I did come to love her selfless commitment to the community in North Woolwich.

Connie HuntConnie Hunt

“She was indomitable and, more often than not, she would get the problem solved. She built the community up – thanks to her, it was a community in reality and not just in name.”

Connie’s daughter, Lesley Hill, 46, told how she remembered her activism as a child.

She said: “She started off campaigning for better conditions in the tower block where we lived in the 1970s.

“She was really well known locally and would never give up on a fight.”

As well as fighting for better quality housing and employment, Connie was heavily involved in campaigning against the closure of the Royal Docks and the building of London City Airport. She helped to draw up a People’s Plan for the area with the assistance of Ken Livingstone’s Greater London Council and the Popular Planning Unit, providing a direct challenge to the airport proposals.

Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, credits this campaign with bringing her into politics.

She said: “She encouraged me to get involved and coaxed me into speaking at the public enquiry.

“Our communities are all the better for having people like Connie in their midst.”

Connie is survived by her husband Les, her children Lesley and Andrew and two grandchildren.

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