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Community hall named in honour of former MP

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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A NEW community facility is to be dedicated to the memory of a popular MP.

The family of the late David Taylor MP have spoken of their pride after learning that a new facility being built in his home village will bear his name.

Residents in Heather, near Ashby, gathered for a sod-turning ceremony to celebrate the start of work on The David Taylor Memorial Hall.

The former North West Leicestershire MP died from a heart attack on Boxing Day 2009, aged 63.

His daughter Jessica Southwart, 35, of Ashby, attended the event on behalf of the Taylor family, along with her son and daughter, aged three and one.

She said: "Unfortunately my children never got to know my dad, but thanks to things like this they will get to know all about him when they grow older.

"It was a quiet ceremony with not much fuss, but nonetheless an important occasion.

"It was nice to be able to be there representing mum and my three sisters, and I think it's lovely the hall will take the name of my dad.

"I think it will be very well used by the people of North West Leicestershire and the surrounding area."

Mr Taylor's widow, Pam, will sit on the new hall's management committee.

Unfortunately, she was unable to attend the sod-turning ceremony after breaking her ankle in a fall.

"I'm disappointed I couldn't have been there," she said.

"It's a project our family has been very much behind, and something David was keen to support when he was alive.

"He would have been as proud as anyone to see the village's dream finally come to fruition.

"Everyone has been so supportive of our family since David's death. To know that his name will live on through the hall is really nice."

The David Taylor Memorial Hall could open in the new year, following a five-year fund-raising campaign.

The project has been led by Heather Parish Council after the destruction of the village cricket pavilion in a 2003 arson attack left dozens of village groups – including the youth club, cricket club, Brownies and Guides – without a home.

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