MEMBERS and officers of Durham Police Authority and Durham Constabulary paid tribute yesterday to one of the Authority’s longest-serving members following the death of Jo Fergus MBE, aged 77 at the weekend.
Councillor Jo Fergus died peacefully at home in Gainford, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, with her family at her side.
She was elected to Durham County Council in 1981 and was a member of the old Police Committee before it became Durham Police Authority in 1994.
Coun Fergus had served on many local committees from Children’s Sports through to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was awarded the MBE in 1988 for Public and Political Service.
Peter Thompson, chair of Durham Police Authority, said: “After so many years on the Authority it is going to feel very strange not having Jo at our meetings.
“She has made a strong contribution and seen a lot of changes over the last decades to policing in this country and in particular here in Durham and Darlington. She will be a sad loss for the Police Authority and we will miss her dearly.”
Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart said: “Jo was a larger-than-life character who didn’t suffer fools gladly.
“She represented the rural communities brilliantly and she gave considerable support to Durham Constabulary over more than 30 years public service. She will be sorely missed.”