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Tributes paid following death of former Mayor Sheila Woodyatt

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TRIBUTES are being paid to former Mayor of Warrington Cllr Sheila Woodyatt who died over the weekend, aged 80.

Cllr Woodyatt had represented Lymm on the parish council since 1979 and Warrington Borough Council since 1983.

Paying tribute fellow councillor Ian Marks said: “Sheila and I were both elected to the Parish Council in 1979 and to the Borough Council in 1983, so we have known each other a long time.

Sheila Woodyatt

“We had our political differences but we were united in trying to do our best for the people we served. We worked together on the Parish Council for the people of Lymm and for the people of Warrington when she was on the Executive Board when I was Council Leader.

“Sheila did a huge amount to help people and her passing marks the end of an era. She will be greatly missed.”

Another fellow Lymm councillor Bob Barr, who recently assisted Sheila by giving her lifts to planning committee meetings, added: “It is with sadness that I heard of the death of my friend Sheila Woodyatt.

“I first met Sheila when I became a parent governor at Cherry Tree School in the 1980s where she was Chair. There I discovered how committed Sheila was to supporting the community in her own inimitable way.

“We often disagreed on many issues, sometimes vociferously and we were fierce political rivals. However, I admired Sheila’s strength of personality and was pleased to be able to help her in some of her Council duties as she became less mobile. I counted her as a friend.

“She will be greatly missed, but long remembered, by her constituents in Lymm.”

Former colleague Keith Bland, who along with his wife Sue, worked alongside Sheila on the borough council, said: “Both Sue and I were very sad to hear of Sheila’s death.

“I had known and worked with Sheila for many years at both County Council and Borough Council.In all the years.She always worked hard for the residents of Lymm and Warrington.Its an old cliche but she will be sadly missed. An end to an era!”

Sheila was Mayor of Warrington in 2000/2001 and received the MBE for her services to the community. Her husband Neville died in May last year. She had been suffering with poor health after recently suffering a stroke, followed by a fall.

Ed’s note: Having worked closely with Sheila since the start of my career I know she will be sadly missed by her family and many friends. She was the first councillor I ever photographed out on the campaign trail and was always ready to tackle any community issue. It is most certainly the end of an era and I know she gained respect from all political parties, none more so than when she was the lone Conservative on Warrington Borough Council.

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8 Comments

  1. Geoff Settle - former Mayor of Warrington on

    Sheila was one of a kind and served the Warrington Visually Impaired People for many years as a valued Trustee, she will be greatly missed by the society.

    In typical Sheila fashion she told us her stroke wasn’t much and that she would be back soon on the Executive Committee that had been a treasured part of her life for many years. She would soldier on and join us at our next WVIP meeting. Sadly that wasn’t to be the case.

    Sheila was always forthright and could be relied on to let you know what she thought of things. She always acknowledge my emails as a Councillor and as Mayor she always let me know of any ‘Naughty’ councillors in the chamber as she sat closely on my left hand side even though she could was politically to the right.

    When I asked her about councillor surgeries – she said “I have mine at home and serve my constituents a cup of tea when they come to visit.” In this day and age who would even dream of doing that?

    On our visits to Lymm as Mayor and Mayoress for events and elsewhere for special Mayoral occasions she was always there with her rock Neville who sadly passed away in May of last year. The death of Neville was as a massive shock to Sheila that she just couldn’t come to terms with. He was also a great character who a bit like Prince Philip supported his wife behind the scenes never taking the limelight.

    The pair were inseparable and gave myself and Jean a very warm welcome whenever and wherever we met up and we have found memories of them both.

  2. Sheila was our Chair of Governors for over 30 years. A role which she was both proud of and passionate about. She dedicated a large part of her life to supporting and helping others, and our school was one of those communities she truly believed in. Sheila wanted nothing more than for Cherry Tree School to succeed and for our children to be happy here. She gave up hours and hours of her own time to lead our governors over many years. She was an inspiration to us all. The children particularly enjoyed her presence at our Praise Assemblies on a Friday.
    Sheila will be sadly missed by us all. May she rest in peace and find comfort alongside her dearest husband Neville.

  3. Oh no. More bad news. RIP Councillor Woodyatt. A talented and truly fearsome lady who was almost Thatcher-esque in her younger days. She served the local community for many years and I was lucky enough to get to know her through her husband, Neville, who was a former president and life member of Lymm Oughtrington Park Cricket Club. A sad day.

  4. Rest In Peace. You always stood up for what you believed was the best for our community. My thoughts to your family at what must be even more of a shock and impact on your lives than it will be on Warrington and the residents of Lymm.

  5. Sheila was a great champion of Lymm and the community she loved and served. A fantastic , wise and very witty colleague who was always there when you needed support and advice. She will be very sadly missed by all .

  6. very sad news, both me and my wife Kath found her to be a good friend and of great help when we needed advice. This is the second mayor our town has lose in the last month plus one former mayors wife.I had the pleasure of working very close to sheila on the v.i.p society board for the last 15 years and she was a great help on a number of issues never letting politics get in the way.

    • So sad to hear the news of Sheilas passing. I had the pleasure of working alongside her when she was a Warrington Councillor during my time as a police offer and Police Community Safety Manager at Warrington. I have been fortunate to work with her for many years on the board of St Roccos Hospice and latterly the Cheshire Drugwatch trust. She will be so missed by many. Happy memories.

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