Newham Council pays tribute to councillor who died this week

9 October 2015 in Council and democracy and Mayor
It is with sadness and regret that Newham Council has to announce the death earlier this week of Boleyn Ward councillor Charity Fiberesima.

Councillor Fiberesima had been an elected member for five years. Mayor Sir Robin Wales 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.”

Charity, 63, from Plaistow, a mother of six and grandmother of two, was first elected as a Labour councillor in Plaistow South Ward in 2010 and then Boleyn Ward in 2014.

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

Arrangements for her funeral have yet to be made. The flags at East Ham and Stratford town halls are flying at half mast and a full tribute will be made at the next meeting of the full Council.

Charity’s colleagues have been offering condolences. Councillor Joy Laguda, Chair of the Council 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, who was a mentor to Councillor Fiberesima, 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 Ken Clark, Cabinet member for building communities and public affairs, regeneration and planning, said: “I found Charity to be a loyal colleague and dedicated local councillor. My thoughts are with her family.”

Councillor Clive Furness, chair of Newham Council’s Labour Group, said: “Charity was a committed councillor who championed her local area and Newham as a whole. She will be missed by her colleagues on the council and the people she represented. Our thoughts are with her family.”

Councillor Kay Scoresby, chair of the children and young people's scrutiny commission, said: “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.”

Fellow Boleyn Ward councillors Obaid Khan and Harvinder Singh Virdee said it was “sad news”: Councillor Khan added: “She was a great colleague and will be missed.” Councillor Virdee added: “We have truly lost a dear friend.”

Councillor Forhad Hussain said: “Charity lived in Plaistow and was a dedicated councillor who gave so much to her community. She will be truly missed.”

Councillor James Beckles said: “I am truly saddened by the news.” Councillor Susan Masters and Councillor Pat Holland described it as a “shock” and offered sympathy to Charity’s family. Councillor Mukesh Patel said: “She will always live in our hearts.”

Councillor Aleen Alarice said: “She has always been a voice on the scrutiny commission. It won’t be the same without her. We have lost a valued member.” Councillor Paul Sathianesan said: “Her passion for children and young people will always be remembered.”

Councillor Jose Alexander said: “She was a good friend will be greatly missed.” Councillor Steve Brayshaw added: “This is a tragic loss of a true community champion. The council and our residents are less today because of this loss.” Councillor Bryan Collier said: “She was a well liked member who will be sadly missed.”

Charity worked as a cook at the University of East London 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.”