Plaque unveiled for groundbreaking Rotherham councillor who paved way for women’s rights in the town

The Mayor of Rotherham Coun Alan Buckey and Coun Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety with the plaque commerating Rotherham's first female councillor, Mary Maclagan at Rotherham Town Hall
The Mayor of Rotherham Coun Alan Buckey and Coun Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety with the plaque commerating Rotherham's first female councillor, Mary Maclagan at Rotherham Town Hall

A plaque commemorating the nomination of the first woman councillor for Rotherham has been unveiled at its town hall.

In 1924, just six years after the suffragette’s secured women’s rights, Mary Maclagen was elected to represent Clifton ward, seen as a ground breaking move at the time. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of millions of women finally securing the right to vote in Britain.

To mark this Rotherham Council members in the shape of Rotherham Mayor, Coun Alan Buckley, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, Coun Emma Hoddinott, helped to unveil the plaque commemorating the groundbreaking council member, Mary Maclagen.

The election of Mary in 1924 opened the door to many other female councillors to be able to hold similar posts over the next decades, including Coun Emma Hoddinott, whose nomination secured her a place in the national 100 Women’s Suffrage Pioneers earlier this year. The plaque follows on from the unveiling of the suffragette banner in October.

Coun Hoddinott, spoke with pride about Mary: “Women like Mary Maclagen are truly inspirational. She was without doubt a pioneer and someone who I have great admiration for. She took a brave stance and showed that she was just as capable as any man at delivering for her constituents. That is why we are commemorating her achievement in this way today. I hope we can continue to raise awareness of her role in our town’s history.”

During her time in office Coun Maclagen spoke in favour of the extension of maternity and child welfare and increased educational provision for school children. After her political career she served as a committee member of the Rotherham Worker’s Education Association and up to the time of her death was a member of the Rotherham Business and Professional Women’s Club.

The commemorative plaque has been funded from personal donations from Rotherham Council members.