Cllr Viv Charrett leads tributes after death of former Christchurch mayor Sue Bungey
The mayor of Christchurch has paid tribute after the death of one of her predecessors, Sue Bungey, describing her as a woman to whom the town owed an “immense debt”.
Together with colleagues on Christchurch Town Council Cllr Viv Charrett said they were very sad to hear of Sue’s death from cancer.
She praised Sue and late husband Colin as “stalwarts of Christchurch for decades”.
Colin had been a Christchurch borough councillor from 1983 until 2019 becoming an Honorary Freeman of the town. He had then become an independent councillor on the BCP Council.
He was also mayor of Christchurch twice, with Sue serving as deputy mayoress alongside him. She later became mayor in 2021 after the death of Colin in 2020.
Cllr Charrett said of Sue: “As a councillor she conducted herself with her typical kindness and generosity. She managed to put her points and views across strongly while never arguing and retaining her calmness and dignity at all times.
“She was a great supporter of Christchurch and had been involved in many of its institutions for years.”
Cllr Charrett described how Sue had originally been a Londoner but “like many of us, came to Christchurch and fell deeply in love with it”,
Sue, who met Colin in London when they were both members of the Young Conservatives, worked for many years as secretary to the headmistress at Uplands School in Parkstone.
She became chair of the Christchurch Residents Association while Colin became councillor for Jumpers Ward on the former borough council.
Both Sue and Colin “fought hard” to keep Christchurch independent of Bournemouth but when this failed in 2019 she became councillor for the Priory Ward and also deputy mayor of Christchurch.
In 2020 she became very ill with Covid and was admitted to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, it was while she was there that Colin became ill himself and died.
Sue continued in local politics despite being diagnosed with cancer and, said Cllr Charrett, “fought her illness bravely, refusing to let it define her”.
She added: “Sue’s outstanding features were her courage and integrity. She overcame the terrible tragedy of the loss of one of her daughters and continued to carry out her duties.”
“She was devoted to her family: her daughter Debbie and her grandson Teddy, who she doted on. Sue was someone of decency, integrity, honesty and selflessness.
“A woman for whom the term ‘standards in public life’ could have been coined. The council and the whole of Christchurch owes her an immense debt.”