Patricia Quigley elected as new Mayor of H&F
Councillor Patricia Quigley has been confirmed as the new Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham.
Her new role was announced by H&F Council’s Chief Executive Sharon Lea during the Council’s Annual General meeting on Wednesday night (24 May).
Cllr Quigley is set to make ‘inclusion and equity’ the centrepiece of her mayoral year.
She is the former Lead Member for Inclusive Community Engagement and Co-production and a founding member of H&F’s Disabled People’s Commision.
“Disabled People need to take the lead in planning services to remove barriers and ensure that everyone can be part of a more inclusive society,” she said. “That’s the reason I am sitting here tonight as the newly elected Mayor of H&F.”
Watch Cllr Quigley's full confirmation speech on YouTube.
Meet our new Mayor
Watch the meet our new Mayor video on YouTube.
Freedom of the Borough
A special ceremony also saw the Freedom of the Borough awarded to women’s safety pioneers – Beryl Foster and Bear Montique – as well as former H&F Council Leader, Barrie Stead.
It the highest honour the council bestows only on a select group of residents, organisations or military groups for their extraordinary service to the local community.
H&F Leader Stephen Cowan said: “What we’re celebrating tonight is people who made a change that, decades later, we’re still living with.”
Supporting women survivors
Beryl and Bear were honoured for their pivotal role in revolutionising the support system for survivors of domestic abuse – a key priority in the council’s fight against crime in the borough.
Born and raised in Ireland, the two founded the UK’s leading women’s organisation Advance in Hammersmith in 1998. The charity forms part of the Angelou service, a multi-organisation partnership that provides advice and support to those experiencing gender-based abuse.
“At the time, there was no local service for anyone experiencing violence at home,” said Cllr Emma Apthorp, H&F Lead Member for Women and Girls and outgoing Mayor.
“The onus fell on survivors, rather than the community. They played a large role in changing the narrative of domestic violence.”
Listening to survivors
Beryl had previously helped open Hammersmith’s first Women’s Aid refuge, and later set up Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.
Meanwhile, Bear had started the borough’s first outreach service for people experiencing violence at home. She played a key role in bringing the revolutionary Duluth Model to the borough, which shifts blame and responsibility away from survivors and to the community.
“I’m accepting this award on behalf of all the brave survivors who’ve come forward and who’ve used Advance’s services, which were shaped by those survivors,” said Bear. “Never stop listening to survivors.”
A guiding presence
Barrie Stead – who served as the Leader of H&F Council from 1973 to 1978 – was also awarded Freedom of the Borough at the ceremony.
He was deeply dedicated to the borough’s cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene. He helped found Riverside Studios, rebuild the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, and acquire Fulham Palace.
These are “institutions that we all enjoy, and we are all proud to call gems in our borough,” said Cllr Kwon, H&F Cabinet Member for Civic Renewal.
Barrie later went on to found Age Concern, now Age UK, a charity which offers vital services to older people and their carers.
“He has been that guiding presence for people who don’t always know how to access the help they need,” said Cllr Patrick Walsh from Ravenscourt ward. “It’s incredibly important that there are champions like that in our community.”
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