Councillor up to the challenge.

Angie Wilcox.
Angie Wilcox.

A NEW councillor says she has “huge shoes” to fill after taking over the reigns from a close friend who died earlier this year after a short battle with cancer.

Labour councillor Angie Wilcox was last week elected to represent the Owton ward in the Hartlepool Borough Council elections with a huge majority.

The 48-year-old has paid tribute to former Liberal Democrat councillor Bob Flintoff, who had previously held the Owton seat before his death on March 30.

Coun Flintoff served the Fens and Owton areas on the council for more than 20 years and the dad-of-one has been described as a “true gentleman” by civic leaders.

The 83-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in February and spent the following three weeks at Hartlepool and District Hospice.

He was a big supporter of the Manor Residents’ Association, in Kilmarnock Road, which is managed by Coun Wilcox.

Coun Wilcox, who said she has had to hit the ground running since being elected, said: “Thursday was quite an emotional night as Bob was a close friend of mine.

“It is important to recognise the work that he did and I have a huge pair of shoes to fill.

“Hopefully I won’t let people down.

“He knew I was going to stand before he became ill and he gave me some words of advice to always be true to the people in the area.

“I hope I can do half the job that he did.”

Coun Wilcox received 625 votes from Owton residents, comfortably beating her nearest rival Peter Joyce, from UKIP, who received 113 votes.