Former Mayor of Penwortham Sue Prynn dies aged 52

Posted on - 8th June, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Penwortham, Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News
Sue Prynn led a very active political life Pic: Michelle Banks

Tributes have been paid to a former county, borough and town councillor from Penwortham who has died at the age of just 52.

Sue Prynn – who also served as the town’s mayor – passed away on 31st May after a long illness.

Former colleagues have remembered her as someone who was relentless in her efforts to support residents who were relying on her, while her sister has recalled how she was driven by a simple desire to help others.

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Sue – who stood for the Labour Party – sat on South Ribble Borough Council, representing the Charnock ward between 2011 and 2015, and also had a four-year stint on Lancashire County Council as the member for the now defunct Penwortham South division from 2013.

As well as being a member of committees at both county and district level, she held two particularly high-profile roles during her time at County Hall, chairing the corporate parenting board – with oversight of the county council’s responsibility for looked-after children – and also the student support appeals committee.

Sue was also elected to Penwortham Town Council between 2011 and 2019, becoming mayor during the 2014/15 municipal year.

South Ribble borough councillor Keith Martin told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that she was “like a little terrier who wouldn’t let go of [an issue] if it needed addressing”.

“She was just an honest, hardworking councillor, who looked after people who needed looking after and supported campaigns, with a real insistence [about] getting things done,” said Cllr Martin.

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In her varied professional life, Sue had been a special needs teacher, worked in mental health services and, most recently – after gaining a Master’s degree in forensic psychology to go with an earlier chemistry degree – worked at Bolton University as a psychology lecturer.

Her sister, Michelle Banks, said that she “worked hard at everything she did”, which, as a councillor, usually involved “helping those who didn’t have a voice”.

“It wasn’t about the national political picture for her, but helping local people.  She wanted things to be right for residents and always stood up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves – that was her main driver,” added Michelle, who said that Sue’s family – which includes her only son, Adam, aged 30 – had been comforted by the tributes from past council colleagues.

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Among them was Chorley Rural East county councillor Kim Snape, who told the LDRS that her friend was “an incredible person and a fantastic councillor for the communities she represented”.

“She was a great support to me when I was the parliamentary candidate in South Ribble and it was a pleasure to serve with her on the corporate parenting board at Lancashire County Council.

“She will always be remembered for the passion she had for supporting Lancashire’s looked after children.”

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