06:03PM, Thursday 09 April 2020
A mother-of-five who died after testing positive for COVID-19 dedicated her time as a councillor to ‘people left behind’, the deputy leader of the council has said.
Shabnum Sadiq, 39, died on Monday following complications from the virus.
The Wexham Lea councillor fell ill while visiting Pakistan for a family wedding last month and had been hospitalised there for almost four weeks before her death.
Deputy leader of the council, Sabia Akram (Lab, Elliman) said the passing of her childhood friend would leave a ‘huge void’ at the council.
She said: “Her particular interest was about people who were left behind in hard to reach communities.
“If there’s one thing that really shone through, it’s that she wasn’t afraid of hard work, rolling her sleeves up and getting stuck in.”
In June 2006, Shabnum defied difficulties she had been facing to fall pregnant by giving birth to quadruplets.
She went on to balance her family life with her work at The Volunteer Centre, in Slough, before being elected to represent Wexham Lea ward in 2016.
Cllr Akram added: “She had a day job and was still managing her family life as well as her political life and she just made it look so easy.
“We have lost someone who was really grassroots and community-centred and you just can’t replace that.”
Council leader James Swindlehurst added: “This has brought home to us that not only is this virus something we have to deal with as a town, but also personally, through our work, through our actions and through our grief for those it has taken.
“Behind every statistic about this virus is a family ripped apart and there is no starker example of that, to us in the council, than to lose one of our colleagues.”
The leader of Wexham Court Parish Council, Cllr Iftakhar Ahmed, said Cllr Sadiq was known for her ‘kind and caring’ personality, while fellow borough councillor Fiza Matloob said she would always be the first person to defend Slough.
The Slough Conservative Association said Cllr Sadiq had always provided a ‘strong voice of challenge’ and would be a huge loss to the town.
MP for Slough Tan Dhesi said she had made a huge contribution to local life in Slough.
Shabnum is survived by her husband and five children.
Residents have been asked to show their respect for Cllr Sadiq by placing a light in the front window of their homes at 8pm on Saturday for 30 minutes.
An official memories page has also been set up where people can share photos and messages for Shabnum’s family and friends.
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