Obituary: Rita Briggs, former councillor

Rita Briggs, who has died at 92, was a former Kirklees councillor in West Yorkshire and a one-time Mayor of the district.

Rita Briggs

Rita Briggs, who has died at 92, was a former Kirklees councillor in West Yorkshire and a one-time Mayor of the district.

She was first elected in 1973, taking a seat for Labour on the newly-formed Council in 1974 and serving four years as a member for Holme Valley South. She also served on Holme Valley Parish Council, representing Fulstone ward, and became chair in 1985.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She returned to Kirklees Council in 1990.

Mrs Briggs was focused on extending opportunities, particularly for young people, and on recognising and addressing disadvantage and advancing the role of women.

She was at the forefront of championing the construction of Holmfirth’s swimming pool and leisure centre and successfully fought the case for the Co-op – in the town.

She also fought to keep New Mill Library open and secured a court for public use at Thongsbridge Tennis Club.

An active member of Colne Valley Labour Party, she was one of the driving forces behind the decision to invite leading figures such as Barbara Castle to inspire local Labour women to be involved in politics.

She is survived by three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Another child, Nigel, died in 1970.