Councillor Sheila Newman, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services and current Lady Mayoress of Manchester, passed away this morning (Monday 19 February 2018).
The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, has led tributes to her.
Sir Richard Leese said: "Sheila Newman served this city with dedication for more than three decades. As Executive Member for Children's Services, she cared deeply about children and young people in Manchester and was absolutely determined to help them get the best start in life. She had recently overseen significant improvements to safeguarding services recognised by Ofsted.
"Sheila was also a committed champion of the areas she represented, most notably her home ward of Chorlton ward where she was elected in 1999, and a school governor for more than 25 years. She became Lady Mayoress in November last year and was enjoying the role.
"Her sudden and unexpected death has come as a great shock to us all and she will be very much missed as a friend and colleague. Our thoughts are with her husband, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Eddy Newman, their daughters and their family at this difficult time."
Cllr Newman was 62. She was born in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders and attended Aberdeen University before moving to Manchester in 1978 to train as a teacher.
She worked as a teacher, served as a councillor in Hulme for five years in the 1980s (being first elected in 1982) and represented Chorlton ward on the Council from 1999 onwards.
Cllr Newman was Executive Member for Children’s Services, a position she was holding for the second time, and also took on the role of Lady Mayoress of Manchester in November.