Published Monday, 03 August 2020
Tributes have been paid to a well-respected and much-loved Coventry councillor who passed away suddenly this weekend.
Labour Councillor Hazel Sweet, who was elected to serve the Wyken ward of the city four times after first winning the seat in 2007, died while enjoying a family holiday.
The 70-year-old was a popular figure at the Council, where she served as Chair and Deputy Chair of Planning Committee, Chair of Audit Committee and as a member of both Business, Economy and Enterprise and Health and Social Care scrutiny boards.
A proud supporter of the people and city she represented, she was also a former Chair of Coventry City Council’s adoption panel – an area in which she held a great deal of interest since fostering 29 boys and two girls over a seven-year period as a foster carer.
Cllr Sweet worked for many years at Coventry’s famous GEC, which later became Marconi. A lifelong Labour supporter, she became Secretary of the Trades Council while working at the factory.
She worked at GEC with her beloved husband George who she was inseparable from and knew for more than 50 years.
Fellow Wyken ward councillor and Cllr Sweet’s daughter, Faye Abbott, said her mother would be sorely missed.
“Mum always wanted to help people,” she said.
“She always wanted to help people throughout her life and make a difference – it was at the heart of everything she did.
“Our family has lost a special wife, mother, grandmother and friend and the city has lost one of its biggest supporters.”
Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, is one of many politicians to pay tribute to Cllr Sweet.
He said: “Hazel was a strong, independent woman who was respected by politicians on all sides of the Council chamber. She held a number of positions as a councillor and was particularly passionate about her position on planning committee.
“She cared very deeply about the people in her ward and I know I speak for all of the Council when I say she will be missed and that our thoughts and prayers are with Faye, Hazel’s husband George and all of their family and friends.”
Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party, Councillor Gary Ridley, said: “It was always evident that Hazel loved being a councillor and representing the people of her ward.
“She worked tirelessly for them and I know will be greatly missed by everyone at the Council and by all those she represented.”
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Ann Lucas, added: “Hazel was a good friend and respected colleague who was always determined to do the best for the people she represented.
“She always went over and above to get the job done and I know she will be missed by everyone who knew and worked with her."
Funeral arrangements have still to be arranged but the family is asking for donations to Feeding Coventry as this would have been her way of continuing to help people in need in the city.