Tribute paid as former Lancaster and Morecambe Conservative leader and Stagecoach stalwart passes away, aged 68

Former Lancaster and Morecambe Conservative leader Stephie Barber has passed away at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 9:09 am
Stephie Barber pictured during her stint as leader of the Conservatives for Lancaster and Morecambe.

Stephie died on May 23, surrounded by family.

Stephie was perhaps best known locally over the years for her work with Stagecoach bus company, most recently as a director until her retirement in 2017.

She went on to become a councillor, and represented Bare ward in Morecambe from 2019 until her death.

She also served as leader of Lancaster and Morecambe Conservative Party between 2019 and 2020.

Fellow Conservative councillor Charlie Edwards, who represents Morecambe South on Lancashire County Council, paid tribute to Stephie on his Facebook page, saying: "I am absolutely gutted that my friend Stephie Barber has sadly passed away.

"Having spent a lifetime “on the buses”, we met a few years ago in The Bow Window and I stupidly convinced her to spend her retirement on the council. She represented Bare ward from May 2019 and was universally loved and admired.

"I’ve been told she was surrounded by her family, she was absolutely devoted to her grandkids. Despite being ill for a while, she had such a steely determination to fight on. She was and will be an inspiration to me.

"Rest in peace Stephie."

Lancaster City Council's website says: "It is with great sadness that Councillor Stephie Barber passed away on 23rd May 2021. Funeral arrangements will be given as soon as they are known."

Coun Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Although we were to know Stephie as a Lancaster city councillor for just a short time, it is without doubt that her loss will be felt by all who knew her.

"Her presence will be greatly missed, particularly by those in her group and in her ward whom she served with true dedication and commitment until so very recently.

“My sincere condolences on behalf of Lancaster City Council go to all of her friends and family at this sad time.”

Michelle Hargreaves, interim regional director north for Stagecoach, said: "Stephie was a highly-respected member of the Stagecoach team for many years and left a long-lasting legacy, both within the transport industry and in the wider community which she loved and dedicated a great deal of her time to improving.

"She was a great colleague and was well thought of by everyone. Our thoughts go out to Stephie's friends and loved ones."