Memorial to Jan in beloved garden

Happy memories: Former Sheffield City Council leader Jan Wilson in the Winter Garden.
Happy memories: Former Sheffield City Council leader Jan Wilson in the Winter Garden.
Share this article

A PLAQUE is to be installed as a lasting tribute to late Sheffield Council leader Jan Wilson - in one of her favourite locations.

The memorial to Coun Wilson, who died last year, aged 66, after a three-and-a-half year battle against lung cancer, will be in the Winter Garden.

The garden is synonymous with the city centre regeneration during her leadership of the council.

Daughter Jane Jacks said: “It’s a wonderful gesture and the perfect location. Of everything Jan achieved for Sheffield, she was particularly fond of the Winter Garden. All her family will be happy.”

The plaque has been proposed as part of a motion paying tribute to Coun Wilson by her friend and colleague Coun Pat Midgley, which is to be approved at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

Jane said: “Pat and my mum were councillors together in Manor Castle and were really good mates. She’s a lovely person and it’s quite appropriate that she is the person putting this motion forward.”

The Winter Garden was one of Jan’s favourite places and held happy memories.

“I bought mum a painting of the Winter Garden a few years ago, which she loved. The garden became synonymous with what my mum had achieved and she had her 60th birthday there.

“It was a really nice time. We had speeches and drinks, then a party in the Millennium Galleries afterwards.”

Details of where the plaque will be in the garden and its inscription have yet to be decided.

Coun Midgley said: “Jan was a huge inspiration to us all and was wholeheartedly committed to working for the city of Sheffield, for which she received the CBE in 2006.

“Her achievements were abundant but she was articularly proud of helping to secure £1 billion of investment in the city’s housing stock, securing Sheffield’s Building Schools for the Future programme to rebuild secondary schools, the Highways PFI scheme to repair and improve Sheffield’s entire highways network and the regeneration and transformation of the city centre.”

Coun Wilson was first elected in 1992 and became Labour group leader in 1998, a position she held until just before her death.

She was council leader from 1998 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2008.