Tributes to former councillor who set up St Neots Abuse Project

Former St Neots councillor Anne Harris has died. 

Former St Neots councillor Anne Harris has died. - Credit: Ken Harris

Tributes have been paid to former St Neots town councillor Anne Harris, aged 77, who has died after a long illness. 

Anne will be remembered for her sense of humour during her work supporting the community - including being a co-founder of SNAP, St Neots Abuse Project.

St Neots councillor Cllr Derek Giles said: "I served on the town council with Anne, and indeed her husband Ken, and they were good times.

"I think that what she will leave behind are memories of her sense of humour and fun. She was very serious about the everything she did but retained her sense of humour at the same time."

Cllr Giles said: "She was fun to work with on the council but she was very serious in her areas such as SNAP, which he co-founded with Rosemary Cockrill. There was a lot of debate about that and people were very sceptical about whether it would go through but it did."

SNAP began as a project to support women who had been abused and their families and was then expanded to help male victims.

Anne, who worked in accountancy, was born in Newcastle but spent her early years travelling around the world with her family before they settled in New Zealand.

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It was not long after she returned to the UK that she met Ken and they were married in 1963. The couple had three children, Richard, Caron and Robert, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Ken said Anne had fallen in love with St Neots when they moved to Little Paxton in 1969, but the family then spent six years from 1976 in Doha, the capital of Qatar in the Middle East before returning home.

"Anne was always being very active with her fundraising events local causes, regularly donning her tin or bucket collection boxes and setting out to help deserving organisations," Ken said.

Ken said: "She became quite well known through the town for her kindness and goodwill towards problem solving and helping people in need.

Ken said the town had lost a "wonderful advocate" in Anne, who would be missed profoundly by those who enjoyed her joy and merriment.

The funeral of Anne, who had been diagnosed with dementia in 2017, is by invitation only because of the coronavirus regulations and will be at St Mary's Church, Eynesbury, on January 19. A future memorial is planned for after the lockdown lifts.