Farewell to ‘Queen of Warwick’

Cllr Agnes Leddy, mayor of Warwick three times and former chairman of the district council
Cllr Agnes Leddy, mayor of Warwick three times and former chairman of the district council

A legendary district councillor who was once known as the “Queen of Warwick” has died at the age of 91.

Agnes Leddy, a former chairman of Warwick District Council and mayor of Warwick three times, was widely respected by councillors on both sides of the political divide.

The Labour councillor, who in her younger days was a shop steward at Lockheed (AP) in Leamington, was first elected to what was then Warwick Borough Council in 1963, and only retired in 2007.

She was first mayor in 1974/75 as the borough became the district council with a separate town council.

She went on to serve again in 1993/94 and 2004/05 as well as leading the whole district in 1985/86.

By that time many council officers were referring to her as the Queen of Warwick.

Born in Lancashire, Agnes came to Leamington in 1939 and met her husband, Ted, when they both worked for Lockheed.

When Ted died in 1994 the couple, who mainly lived in Leyfields Crescent, Warwick, had been married for 53 years. They had two sons, Edward, who now lives in Australia, and John, who lives in Lillington.

Local Conservative MP Chris White, a former member of the district council who crossed political swords on many occasions with the Labour Party stalwart, said on Wednesday: “I had the honour of knowing Agnes and was extremely sad to hear of her passing.

“The contribution she made to Warwick was incredible. The amount of work she did over so many years, the experience she offered and, I have to say, sound judgement, on so many issues.

“Agnes was universally respected and had the ability to work across party lines for the benefit of the district.”

Labour town and county councillor John Holland, who worked alongside Cllr Leddy, said: “Agnes made an enormous contribution.

“She was an outstanding ward councillor and there are many residents of Warwick who are grateful for her help in resolving problems with the councils.

“It’s important to recognise that she also made a major contribution to our schools - she was chairman of governors at schools like Newburgh Primary - to her trade union, to the Girl Guides, and to her church. We will miss her.”

In recent years Cllr Leddy moved to a nursing home in Balsall Common where she died on Monday.

Details of her funeral were still being finalised as the paper went to press.