Tributes to dedicated and 'loving' Sheffield councillor Jan Fiore who has passed away aged 77
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To her family, Jan Fiore will be remembered as a ‘loving’ wife, mother and grandmother; but to many others in Sheffield, the contribution she made to several city communities is likely to form a large part of her legacy.
After growing up in Aldershot, Hampshire, as part of a large family living in a council house, Jan moved to Sheffield in 1972. She spent several years supporting communities through working in advice services and women’s health, before setting her sights on furthering her community contribution by becoming a councillor.
Jan’s daughter, Maria Fiore Low, said her mother ‘believed in community groups and local forums,’ was ‘committed to equal opportunities and opportunities for women’ and ‘she never forgot her roots, using her experiences to support ordinary working people to improve their lives in Sheffield’.
“She was a great role-model. She had a hard time being a single parent, she still did what she could in difficult circumstances. She made sure we always had lots of love and always had the basics. She contributed to her community, did advice work and worked in women’s health and then became a councillor, she was a great role model as a woman,” Maria said.
Remembering that time, Steve said: “We were both selected as candidates to become councillors in 1979, and were elected in 1980. We immediately realised we had very similar views about politics, the Labour Party, similar views about equal opportunities. We would often agree with the things the other said in meetings of the Labour Group. And after a while, we ended up falling in love.”
The pair got married in 1982, and their union was reported on in The Star, with an introduction that stated: “It was not so much a labour of love, as a love of Labour that brought the newly-weds together.”
Steve added: “She was always a very loving person, and always supported her kids in everything they did. We’re very proud of our kids.”
Jan represented Sheffield residents for decades, for several extended periods between 1980 and 2007, serving as a Labour councillor for the Handsworth, Nether Edge and Manor wards.
She made history by becoming Nether Edge’s first ever Labour councillor in 1992, and was also heavily involved in schemes designed to regenerate the Manor area.
Jan had a long list of accomplishments during her long and distinguished political career in Sheffield, including: being chair of Municipal Enterprise; chair of HR during which she worked very positively with trade unions at a difficult time of austerity in the 1990s and working alongside Labour politician, Margaret Hodge, when she was vice chair of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities equal opportunities committee.
In addition to being a popular, and well-respected chair of the Labour group for many years, known for being ‘good-humoured but firm,’ Jan was also a long-term member of the South Yorkshire Police authority and argued for families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster to receive compensation.
Jan’s family said her caring local NHS gave her ‘five more years’ after being diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and while chemotherapy did ‘miraculously’ remove her non Hodgkin lymphoma, it also led to Jan suffering from heart failure in 2019. But Jan still managed to enjoy her final years, spending time with family and neighbours, going on daily walks and tending to her garden.
Jan passed away in hospital on April 10, 2023 with her family by her side.
She leaves behind husband, Steve, her three grown-up children: Maria, Dom, and Hannah, and four grandchildren: Frankie, Ethan, Lyla and Minnie.
Jan’s funeral will be held at North Chapel Grenoside Crematorium at 1pm on May 19, and all are welcome. Flowers can be sent to John Heath & Sons Funeral Directors at 354 Mansfield Road.