Tributes paid to ‘working class champion’ Rita Venn who died last night

Rita Venn
Rita Venn

Tribute has been paid to councillor Rita Venn after she passed away in hospital last night.

Ms Venn represented the Bletchley and Fenny Stratford ward after she was voted in on May 7 last year. She was also chairman of the Consortium of Bletchley Resident’s Associations – COBRA.

Councillor Nigel Long worked with her for around 10 years and said he was very, very upset to hear the news.

He said: “Rita was well respected and we will all miss her. We are all surprised how quickly this happened and I am really sad to hear the news. She worked hard in the community and was a really nice genuine person.”

Fellow Labour councillors, including new leader Pete Marland, sent messages of respect.

Mr Marland said: “The death of Rita really is sad and devastating news for her friends and the local Labour Party.

“You could not hope to meet a nicer lady. She was a true community champion and spent years working for the community in Bletchley before being elected to the Council last May. She really cared for people and, in particular, campaigned on health and housing issues. She knew her ward like the back of her hand.

“She had been ill for a few weeks and was in MK General Hospital after a fall in her home, but had seemed to be on the mend recently. It really came as a shock to us all when things took a turn for the worse over the weekend. Thankfully at the end she had someone there with her and she died peacefully in her sleep.

“We’re all just really sad. We’ve lost a much loved colleague and friend who just wanted to help people. She was a real public servant and she’ll be sorely missed.”

Parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South, Andrew Pakes, tweeted: “Very sad to hear #Bletchley Cllr Rita Venn passed away last night. A great champion of working class people and good friend to many.”

Councillor Ric Brackenbury, who serves the Linford South ward tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear that Cllr Rita Venn has passed away – my thoughts and prayers are with her family and colleagues.”