Beryl Burton is in contention, reflecting her stellar career. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

And finally… time for inspiration

Inspirational women who have made their mark on Leeds are set to have their names etched in history at Leeds Civic Hall, and the council are inviting ideas on who should be recognised.

LCC will have the names inscribed on the walls of the building’s prestigious Council Chamber. A consultation has been launched this week, closing on 1 March, asking for residents’ views on those that might be recognised.

People in Leeds are being asked to express their preferences from an initial list of six women, who have each blazed a trail in their own, unique way, whilst also being invited to make their own suggestions as to who might be included.

Women who feature on the initial list are race relations pioneer Gertrude Paul, Suffragette Leonora Cohen, Leeds’ first female MP Alice Bacon, cycling legend Beryl Burton, the Barnbow Lasses, and musician Ivy Benson.

The names of those who are chosen by the people of Leeds will be announced on International Women’s Day on 8 March, and will form part of a report for the final decision-making process later in the year. The names will be added to the names of men who’ve been on there for years – when Leeds Civic Hall was built in 1933, the decision was taken to recognise men who had a close association with Leeds or who contributed in a significant way to the city. Scores have been added since, so really it’s high time wome were given their due.

Cllr Debra Coupar, LCC deputy leader and executive member for resources, said: “As a city, Leeds has a very proud track record of honouring those who laid the foundations of the place we know and love today.

“However, there’s no question that the names which currently feature on the walls of the Council Chamber echo a time when the accomplishments of women were not held in the same high esteem which they are today.

“It’s high time we began to address that imbalance, to ensure that the achievements of these truly remarkable women get that same recognition and that their names stand as a lasting inspiration for future generations.”

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