Councillor vows to fight on after cancer diagnosis

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A Conservative councillor has vowed she “won’t let cancer beat me”, after she was diagnosed with the disease.

Gill Cruise, who was only elected to serve the Horbury and South Ossett ward in May, was told by doctors she was suffering from breast cancer seven weeks ago.

She is undergoing surgery to have a tumour removed on Wednesday and will then go through a course of radiotherapy.

Coun Cruise said she was “angry” that the diagnosis had curbed her constituency work, but added that she fully intended to be back at council meetings in the coming weeks.

Speaking before the operation, she said: “I’ve been through a whole range of emotions recently.

“It’s a terrible thing and it was absolutely devastating for me.

“I’m really upset because I was really looking forward to being a councillor. But when you’re diagnosed with the ‘big C’, it takes over your life.

“But I’m going to be back, don’t you worry. This isn’t going to beat me.”

Coun Cruise said doctors could not yet confirm whether the cancer had spread and that this would determine whether or not she’d need chemotherapy at a later date.

But she said she would be “an email warrior” from home for her constituents and promised to continue her opposition to plans to develop Carr Lodge Mansion in Horbury into flats.

That proposal, which was given the green light at planning committee last week, was bitterly opposed by a group of local residents.

She said: “The people I’ve spoken to are very, very annoyed and very disappointed about it.

“I was working very behind the scenes on this and trying to speak to some potential investors for the property before the diagnosis.

“I’ve had good support from the council and they’ve told me to just concentrate on me for now.”