Tributes to a tireless campaigner and friend

editorial image

TRIBUTES have been paid to tireless community campiagner Lorraine Norman who has died at the age of 63.

Mrs Norman had lived on the Field Lane estate at Rastrick since she was seven and worked hard for an area she knew well. She campaigned for improvements to housing and roads and fought for better facilities for the elderly and disabled people.

She was deputy chair of Field Lane All Residents’ Group which was set up in 2003 after residents raised a number of concerns about housing on the estate.

Her friend, Andrea Bloom, chair of FLARA, said: “Lorraine stood up for the residents of Field Lane. She would take on board any of their concerns and try to get things done.

“Through Lorraine’s voice we made many achievements. She knew everyone and everyone knew Lorraine. Her death has come as a huge shock to her family, friends and all who knew her.”

Mrs Norman campaigned on numerous issues including:

l Placing of drop kerbs at junctions to improve access for wheelchair users and mobility vehicles

l Road widening and improved street lighting at Thornton Road

l Relocation of the school crossing outside Rastrick High school to improve children’s safety

l Raising concerns about the lack of gritting in icy conditions

l Improving areas by the trimming and removal of overgrown hedges

In 2010 and 2011 the FLARA group was presented the ‘Making a Difference’ award by Pennine Housing 2000. “Lorraine was delighted that we had been recognised for our voluntary endeavours in the area,” said Andrea. “She was a kind and caring friend and a pillar of strength to all who knew her.”

Mrs Norman regularly attended meetings of Brighouse and Rastrick ward forums, Police and Community Together (PACT) and Brighouse Road Safety Committee.

In addition she attended Calderdale Council meetings to discuss the Local Development Framework and was involved in the fight to save Blakeborough’s Social and Sports Club.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker praised Mrs Norman’s lasting legacy.

“It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Lorraine who was such a pillar within our local community of Rastrick.

“She worked tirelessly over several decades to ensure the local area benefitted from her campaigns to get things done for the benefit of everybody who lives on the Field Lane estate. Many of her legacies will continue for the benefit of many generations to come and the community will always remember her for her tenacity of purpose. She will be sadly missed,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Rastrick’s ward councillors, Christine Beal said: “We all knew Lorraine through her community work and she will be remembered with affection by many people for her commitment to her local community.

“She was a true people-person who genuinely cared about others and whose practical contribution over many years made a real and positive difference to many residents of Field Lane estate, and beyond.”

Mrs Norman’s funeral was held at Fixby Crematorium on Monday.