Council leaders and MPs pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher

Tributes have been paid to Baroness Thatcher who has died after a stroke.

The former Prime Minister, 87, passed away peacefully today (Monday) after struggling with illness for a number of years.

Baroness Thatcher was born in Grantham and led the country for 11 years, from 1979 to 1990.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Coun Martin Hill (Con) only met the former Tory leader two or three times but she clearly formed a lasting impression.

Coun Hill said: “She was the dominant politician of the late 20th century.

“Whether you agreed with her views or not she showed tremendous courage and determination.

“People say that you always knew where you stood with her.

“She set a course, which I think was the right course at the time, and she stuck to it.

“That is an admirable quality and she needed courage to break through the glass ceilings of being a lady and being from humble origins.

“She has defined and still is defining the political landscape.

“I remember back in the 70s the country looked a bit desperate. She came along and against the perceived wisdom did something about it.

“She was also able to talk to people in a language they understood. She always talked to people in terms they could relate to.”

Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles has also paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher, saying her achievements will never be forgotten.

He said: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the most extraordinary women in the history of these islands and Grantham can be very proud to have been the place where she was born and went to school.

“Her towering achievements will never be forgotten.”

Leader of South Kesteven District Council Coun Linda Neal (Con) said the council would work with schools and community groups to capture aspects of Baroness Thatcher’s life in a time capsule.

She added: “We are also examining other ways to celebrate Baroness Thatcher’s life which will be considered further after consultation with the family.”

The council has also opened a book of condolences that can be signed during office hours in the Civic Area at the Council offices in Grantham from 9am tomorrow (Tuesday).

Rutland MP Alan Duncan said Baroness Thatcher turned the country around and that she should be appreciated today’s younger generation.

Mr Duncan said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of Margaret Thatcher’s death.

“She turned this country around and displayed political courage and determination both in domestic and foreign affairs.

“A younger generation today should appreciate what she did for the country.

“I have many fond memories of her and one of my most treasured possessions is a photograph taken with her at my fiftieth birthday, which she was kind enough to attend.”

Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy (Con) said he cannot imagine the pressure Baroness Thatcher was under during her time in power and has spoken of his two most memorable moments he has of her.

He said: “I cannot imagine the toll that the pressure at this level for that length of time must have taken not only on her but also her family. She was never out of the spotlight and never without difficult decisions to make.

“I have two very clear recollections of her.

“Her speaking with such determination just a few hours after escaping a deadly bomb blast in Brighton.

“The second was her personal commitment to our armed forces when they were involved in the Falklands. The decision to send the task force was a typically brave decision that many might not have made. However her concern for

those forces and the personal letters that she sent to the families of those that did not return that I recall vividly.

“I have friends who have lived in the Falklands. That decision to support them showed that we were again a strong nation.”

The flag at the offices in St Peter’s Hill is flying at half mast.

If you would like to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher or if you met her and have a memory of her you would like to share, e-mail the newsdesk.