Tributes paid to Newham councillor

Councillor Charity Fiberesima from Plaistow

Councillor Charity Fiberesima from Plaistow - Credit: Archant

Tributes have poured in for a “dedicated” councillor following her death this week.

Charity Fiberesima, 63, of Plaistow, who had been an elected member of Newham Council for five years, died overnight on Tuesday.

The mother-of-six and grandmother-of-two, was first elected as a Labour councillor in Plaistow South Ward in 2010, and then the Boleyn Ward in 2014.

Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, called Charity an “honest” councillor whose hard work will not be “forgotten”.

He said: “On behalf of Newham councillors, our staff, residents, and all those who had the pleasure of knowing her, I offer our condolences to Charity’s family and friends at this sad time. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them.”

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“Charity was a decent, honest councillor whose hard work on behalf of those who elected her as well as her wider contribution for the people of Newham, will not be forgotten.

“She was dedicated to supporting and mentoring young people and particularly keen to set up projects and events to divert them from crime and anti-social behaviour. She was a valuable member of the children and young people scrutiny commission and the public transport liaison group.

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“Charity was also a keen supporter of the Heart Foundation. We have lost one of our true community champions.”

Charity worked at the University of East London as a cook for almost 12 years.

Dusty Amroliwala, deputy vice-chancellor and chief operating officer said: “Ibi as she was fondly known, was a popular and highly valued colleague. We’re deeply saddened at her passing and extend our sympathy and best wishes to her family and friends.”

Councillor Joy Laguda, Chair of the Council, also paid tribute. She said: “Charity was a proud mother and grandmother. Her death was totally unexpected. We have lost a dear friend. She was a quiet person, but driven in her desire to support Newham’s young people.”

Councillor Unmesh Desai, Cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, was a mentor to Charity.

He said: “Charity genuinely wanted to serve her community and saw politics as a way of doing it. Her main concern was dealing with knife crime amongst young people. We will look to develop the good ideas she had.”

Councillor Kay Scoresby, chair of the children and young people’s scrutiny commission, added: “My thoughts are with Charity’s family.

“She was a dedicated and valued member of our commission who always contributed to our discussions. We will miss her practical insights into the issues we discussed.”

Flags at East Ham and Stratford town halls are flying at half mast and a full tribute will be made at the next full council meeting.

Arrangements for the councillor’s funeral have yet to be made.

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