THE FAMILY of a former mayor say her legacy will live on in the communities she helped.

Jane Harvey, 61, recently passed away in the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton following a short illness.

Now her family have paid tribute to the mother and grandmother, who they say cared passionately about the community she lived in.

Mrs Harvey had been a Northallerton town councillor since 1977, after campaigning to have the Applegarth playground equipment replaced.

In her time as a town councillor she went on to oversee three refurbishments of the play area. She also went on to develop other play areas in the town.

Mrs Harvey was three times mayor of Northallerton and also a Hambleton district councillor.

Her huband, Michael Harvey, said another of her important achievements for the town involved helping in the creation of a cementery area in the late 1970s for stillborn and neonatal deaths.

She was moved to campaign for its creation after being approached by the grieving mother of a stillborn baby, who had found there was nowhere her baby could be remembered.

Mrs Harvey was involved in many other projects in the town, including Hambleton and Richmondshire Carers, bereavement counselling services and the launch of Bedale community minibus.

She also helped secure premises on South Parade in Northallerton for the Voluntary Services Association and was a chairman of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Although she first joined Northallerton Town Council as an independent councillor, she went went on to become a Liberal Democrat candidate, standing for the Richmond constituency in 1997 for the European seat for the Leeds area in 1992. She became active in the party, helping shape Liberal Democrat policies nationally and locally.

When her sister became terminally ill, she withdrew from politics and the district council to help care for her.

She also returned her focus to Northallerton, where she continued working as a town councillor and school governor.

Her widower, Mr Harvey, said his wife had believed passionately in her community.

“It was Jane’s nature that she didn’t go for the great political posturing,” he said.

“She did things for individuals and small groups with needs that weren’t being catered for.

“She was motivated by something more. It was community first, then politics. It was that approach that inspired others to support her.”

Some of her other achievements included obtaining an open university degree whilst also holding down a seat on the town council and bringing up her four children.

She also worked full-time at County Hall in Northallerton in the treasurer’s department.

Mrs Harvey was the mother of three sons and a daughter and six grandchildren.

Her funeral was due to be held today (Friday, November 30) at Sacred Heart RC Church, on Thirsk Road, Northallerton, at 11.30am.