It is with great sadness we must report the sudden death of Cllr Chrissie Hitchcock on the evening of Monday 25th May 2015.
Chrissie had served as a councillor in Grove ward for 25 years. During that time she had taken on a number of senior roles, including two periods as Mayor of the Royal Borough.
Many tributes have been paid to Chrissie; here are three of them.
Cllr Liz Green, leader of the Liberal Democrat group
Cllr Liz Green, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Kingston Council, said:
"She had served her residents of Grove ward for 25 years, she was one in a million with a wicked sense of humour.
"Her wisdom and unfailing support for Liberal Democrat values and colleagues make her impossible to replace.
"On a personal level, Chrissie gave me unwavering support when I took over as leader of the group, she kept me on track, listened to my worries, gave me advice and was always there as a colleague and friend.
"I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to know and work with her."
Cllr Rachel Reid, Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group
Cllr Rachel Reid, Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group, commented:
"I was elected in 2004 in Grove ward with Chrissie. I've worked on the council with her for 11 years.
"She was fantastic. She was always there when you needed her.
"She absolutely loved Kingston, she was a Kingston person through and through and she would always do the right thing for anyone who lived in her ward, or in the borough.
"She loved planning. That's the commitment to Kingston. Even though she wasn't that well she never gave up. She was a fighter to the end.
"She was inspirational. She was one of the first women councillors in our group. We always got on very well. She will be terribly missed."
John Tilley, former Leader of the Council
Finally, John Tilley, former Leader of the Council, wrote:
"I was the leader of the Liberal Democrat councillors in 1990 when Chrissie Hitchcock was first elected.
"My last term as a councillor ended in 1998, but Chrissie kept in touch and was a loyal and reliable friend, as well as being a formidable ward councillor.
"She chaired the Kingston Town Neighbourhood, was twice mayor and did thousands of good things, but above all she was a fantastic human being and never let municipal pomposity get in the way of having a good laugh.
"Her opponents sometimes underestimated her – that was their mistake.
"To serve as a local councillor and be repeatedly re-elected by the voters on every occasion over 25 years is an exceptional achievement. And Chrissie was an exceptional woman.
"Kingston was lucky to have been served by her for so long."