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Tribute to Councillor Pat Midgley unveiled at Park Hill
Cllr Pat Midgley - a ‘True Woman of steel’
29 July 1937 - 29 March 2020
As a tribute to Cllr Pat Midgley and her commitment to community and support for the regeneration of Park Hill, joint venture partners Urban Splash and Places for People have organised with Sheffield City Council to rename Norwich Street at Park Hill, Pat Midgley Lane.
An informal tribute event was held at Park Hill on Wednesday 16 June, 60 years to the day when Park Hill was officially opened by Sheffield City Council, where representatives from the community will join Pat’s family and friends to unveil a copy of the new street sign. Cllr Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, Park Hill ward councillors, Urban Splash and the family will say a few words about Pat’s legacy. Family members attending include her husband, Don, and children Joanna and Neil.
Pat was a Labour councillor for 33 years and was dedicated to the City of Sheffield, especially Park Hill that is in the Manor Castle Ward where she was born, raised and lived her whole life. She was also a former Lord Mayor, magistrate and school governor for more than 50 years. Pat was also honoured with a Woman of Sheffield award in 2019 hosted by the Sheffield Star.
She was Chair of Housing in the 1990’s and spearheaded Park Hills’ application for English Heritage Grade II listed status, fielding criticism at the time from a sceptical public about the benefits of such a move.
She was the first serving politician in the UK known to have died from coronavirus and her last political act was to vote for Sir Keir Starmer in the Labour leadership race on Saturday 28 March 2020 - a day before she died and three days after testing positive for Covid-19.
Mark Latham, Regeneration Director on behalf of the joint venture said:
“Personally, two things particularly stand out in my memories of Pat: first, she always treated everyone with exactly the same warmth and kindness and respect, regardless of who they were - whether an “ordinary” member of the public at a Park Hill gathering or a visiting ministerial dignitary. To Pat, no one was just “ordinary”, every individual mattered.
“And that brings me to my second memory, which is that Pat constantly reminded all of us who have worked on the regeneration of Park Hill over the years to always keep people at the centre of the transformation, to remember and focus on how all of the decisions and actions have and will affect the individuals and families of Park Hill now and in the future.
“I am genuinely so delighted that with the help of Pat’s family, the city council and our many other partners, it has been possible to organise this permanent way of remembering and honouring this very special lady who dedicated her life to the people of Park Hill, Manor & Castle ward and the great city of Sheffield.”
Cllr Terry Fox and Leader of Sheffield City Council said:
“Pat played an incredibly important role at the heart of our community for many years, and it’s fitting that her relentless dedication and commitment to helping those around her is recognised in this tribute. I had the pleasure of working closely with Pat throughout our time at the council together and the even greater pleasure of calling her a good friend. Pat was a brilliant councillor; achieving so much in Park Hill and Castle Ward where she lived all her life and a fantastic person.
“Pat always championed her community with determination and passion, leaving a lasting contribution to Sheffield for which we are all extremely grateful.
“For Pat politics was all about community and people, she genuinely cared and wanted to make a difference to peoples lives. She always thought of others first and had time for everyone to listen and to do everything she could to help. I am glad that we have an opportunity to remember Pat together and celebrate her extraordinary life.
Pat Midgley’s family said:
“We are incredibly proud mum has been remembered in this way. She lived around Park Hill all her life, born yards away on Shrewsbury Rd and married at Talbot Street Methodist Church.
“She was passionate about the improvements to Park Hill and she would have been so pleased, although completely disbelieving, to know a road is named after her at the heart of the new complex and see the latest phases come to life.”
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