ONE of Bexley's most active community members is leaving Bexley for the seaside delights of Whitstable.

Francoise Montford from Welling, earned the nickname “Battling Frankie” for her tireless campaigning on behalf of community groups in the borough over 32 years. A founder members of Bexley Access Group, Mrs Montford earned a formidable reputation fighting for easier access for disabled people.

The many dropped kerbs and the installation of tactile paving across the borough are just two of her achievements. The group also publishes an access guide and she and other members are now called upon by architects and planners to help with the planning of access for the disabled across the country.

An active supporter of St Andrew's Church, in Bostall, Mrs Montford also gave her time to St Michael's C of E Primary School in Welling.

She taught pupils French from her home and up until recently they would celebrate Bastille Day with a party in her garden.

Mrs Montford also stood as Liberal Democrat candidate twice for Bexley Council and, at the last election, as Parliamentary candidate for Bexleyheath and Crayford. More than 70 people turned up at a farewell party to pay tribute to her work. Among the presents was a gold locket from the Liberal Democrats.