Obituary: Roni Chapman, former councillor

Ann Veronica Chapman, who has died at 79, was a councillor and community volunteer in Doncaster, who devoted years to public service, education, social justice, feminism and the Labour Party.

Roni Chapman

Ann Veronica Chapman, who has died at 79, was a councillor and community volunteer in Doncaster, who devoted years to public service, education, social justice, feminism and the Labour Party.

Roni to all who knew her, she remained active 63 years after joining the party, as chair of a forum supporting and interviewing future candidates.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She served for many years on the Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party Regional Board, representing the Co-operative Party. In 2008, she was made Yorkshire Labour Woman of the Year and in 2013 handed a National Merit Award for her long service to the party.

Roni was a councillor for three wards over 21 years, representing Richmond ward, Bessacarr ward and Town Field respectively, with only brief interruptions. Her resilience saw her become chair of the council’s social services committee during her final term. The ward was abolished in 2004, but her activism didn’t end, and she later served as a Rossington parish councillor.

An experienced librarian, working within several local authorities, she was also a librarian for the Coal Board in Doncaster in 1984 and went on strike for almost a year.

She never compromised and was passionate about community and social justice. She was a trustee of Cantley Poor’s Land Trust for 30 years, supporting families in that parish. She was Chair of Bessacarr Primary School for many years, a governor at Hall Cross School and before that Ellers Middle School.

She also held many chair and committee roles on local health authorities, primary care trusts, South Yorkshire’s probation service, the Doncaster Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, and Women’s Aid.

She is survived by her husband, John, children Melanie, Jane and Daniel, and grandaughter, Grace.

Rt Hon Caroline Flint