Former Blackpool mayor Sylvia Taylor dies after long illness

Sylvia Taylor, who once served as Mayor of Blackpool, represented Claremont ward for 20 years, and was named an Honorary Alderman for her years of dedication.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 10:10 am
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 1:32 pm
Ivan and Sylvia Taylor on their wedding anniversary in December last year

She died on Thursday following a battle with kidney and bladder cancer, aged 82. The flag was flown at half mast at Blackpool town hall yesterday in her memory.

Her husband, Coun Ivan Taylor, still represents Claremont ward, and is Blackpool's longest standing councillor, serving 52 years so far. He said: "She was kind and always got on well with people. When she was Mayor in particular she was a very good communicator, and she was able to talk to people in a low-key way. Everything she did was straight-forward, honest and hard working, and that's the sort of person she was.

"She was a person of very high integrity, and at the same time a great person and fun to be around."

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Mrs Taylor was the Mayor of Blackpool for the 2012/13 year. In 2016, she was made an Honorary Alderman, a title given to people who have delivered exceptional service to the council, but are no longer serving members. She was among the first aldermen named in Blackpool in 40 years.

She and Coun Taylor celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in December last year - though celebrations were post-poned due to the Covid-19.

Coun Taylor said: "She was very, very well thought of in all aspects of her work on the council and elsewhere. She was also a county councillor for a time, and then later became a district councillor for the unity authority.

"She always got on well with people and as a councillor she was very effective. She did a number of important things such as chairing important committees, and a lot of people have told me how much their appreciated and admired all that she did for Blackpool over quite a vast number of years."

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I became a councillor in 2015 when Sylvia retired after 20 years’ service as a ward councillor.

“Sylvia was a wonderful person, she cared deeply about people and the town and understood the problems faced and worked hard as a councillor to help and support people. Even after her retirement as councillor she remained active in the Claremont ward and I will remain forever grateful for her support and encouragement.

“I, and an awful lot of people across the council, the town and wider afield will miss Sylvia very much.

“Our thoughts are with Ivan and their family at this sad time.”

Former Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden, who worked closely with Sylvia and her husband Ivan for many years, said: "I have known Sylvia for more than 30 years and she cared deeply for people of Claremont and worked hard in their interests.That was recognised when she was made an honorary alderman.

"She was a very warm and loveable person, always ready with a hug. But she was shrewd and certainly no push-over.

"She was particularly keen to support young people and I was very proud when she presented my Local Hero awards at Blackpool Town Hall when she was mayor.

"She and Ivan were a great team and she loved her family. They were great supporters of the Salvation Army and their carol concerts at Christmas were always a highlight.

"Syliva takes her place in the list of strong Northern women and particularly Blackpool women, strong, resolute but warm and caring."

Mrs Taylor's funeral will take place at a date to be announced.