Obituary: Norvela Forster

Norvela Felicia Forster, businesswoman and politician: born 1931; Member (Conservative), European Parliament, for Birmingham South 1979-84; Founder Chairman and Managing Director, IAL Consultants Ltd 1966-93; married 1981 Michael Jones; died London 30 April 1993.

NORVELA FORSTER, a former Member of the European Parliament, founded her own consultancy company and was one of the most determined, energetic and ambitious of women. At the same time she was charming, vivacious and from time to time emotional. She was also a sportswoman of formidable energy and the first Englishwoman to sail single- handed in a first-class yacht race. She even contemplated a single-handed crossing of the Atlantic, although work prevented it.

Born in Wiltshire, she went to a local grammar school, and thence to London University, where she obtained a good honours degree. She became involved in the (Conservative) Bow Group and went to work for ICI. After 12 years she became impatient with the corporate life (impatience was another of her characteristics).

She founded her own company, Industrial Aids Limited, in 1966. This was (and is) essentially a marketing and management consultancy, eventually employing a full-time staff of 35, and a larger number of freelance advisers, dedicated principally to the European Community and the Third World.

It was natural, therefore, that she should seek election to the European Parliament. She was elected in 1979, and became involved in various committees. Her concern with the Third World led her to the External Economics Relations Committee. But her greatest success, and her single failure, came in other areas.

When the member states of the community began to move towards a single market, Forster was one of the most formidable members of the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the Parliament. The final draft of that committee's submission to the Council of EC ministers owed much to her mind and her pen. Meanwhile, she found time to write a substantial monograph on the activities of Chambers of Commerce throughout the European Community.

She lost her European Parliamentary seat in 1984. But it was not her biggest disappointment. That was her failure to achieve success in a campaign for freedom of the skies in Europe - that is to say, the ending of cartels run by the big airlines - that hurt her most. Sir Christopher Prout, her then group leader, recalls her weeping when she realised she was not going to win. She married, in 1981, Mike Jones, a sailing companion for many years, and she was able to enjoy marital happiness until illness struck her down.

Norvela Forster fought every corner she chose to occupy with zest and intelligence; and she will be long remembered even outside the circle of her friends.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific