Tameside Council Leader passes away after suffering heart attack
Tuesday 26th December 2017 @ 12:04 by Lee Wild
News Tameside

The leader of Tameside Council, Cllr Kieran Quinn, sadly passed away in hospital on Christmas Day at the age of 57 after suffering a heart attack.

He had been taken to Tameside Hospital after being taken ill while out delivering cards with his wife and fellow Droylsden councillor, Susan Quinn, when it happened.

Cllr Quinn was first elected to Tameside Council in 1994 and became the executive leader in 2010.

Cllr Kieran Quinn

In a statement, Tameside Council paid tribute, saying: “Kieran will be sorely missed. First and foremost he was a great family man rooted in the community of Droylsden and Tameside. A deep belief that everyone was entitled to a good and fair start in life led him to dedicate his life to public service – working for others and the community he loved.

“Extremely hard working with an unfailingly generous personality, Kieran instinctively put himself on the side of those least able to look out for themselves.  There are few people in our community whose lives aren’t better for the actions Kieran took.

“He had a strong and clear vision as to how to make Tameside a better place for everyone and a determination to make that happen – despite austerity and the inordinate budget cuts the Borough faced.”

Cllr Quinn was involved with many projects whilst leading the council, including chairing the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and was an architect for the devolution of Greater Manchester.

Tameside Council’s statement continued: “At times of great challenge when clarity of leadership was required Kieran never shied away from the tough decisions.

“Whether astutely guiding Tameside Council through the most difficult period for local government in living memory, ensuring the GMPF grew into the largest most successful pension fund in the UK against the wider trend of pensions shortfalls or fighting to reduce the north south economic imbalance now widely recognised through the Northern Powerhouse agenda, he always stood up and provided the necessary leadership.

“Kieran always believed in helping the most vulnerable – and supporting families and the community to flourish – needed more than kind words. Tough decisions to deliver successful public services were essential. What he often referred to do as ‘doing well while doing good’.

“The huge gap which will be left in public life in Tameside following his passing is a testament to the depth and breadth of his contribution to our community. As are the many achievements and the significant legacy of his near quarter century of service on the Council, and in other roles within and beyond Tameside.

“Kieran will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues at Tameside Council.”

The flags outside Dukinfield Town Hall were flying at half-mast on December 27 in respect of the life and work of Cllr Quinn.

Deputy leader of the council, Councillor John Taylor, will lead and address any business matters.

Tameside Council has opened a book of condolence and if you would like to leave a message you can visit  http://public.tameside.gov.uk/forms/f2345CllrKieranQuinn.asp

You can also sign a paper book of condolence at Dukinfield Town Hall or e-mail your message to  [email protected]

Denton South Councillor George Newton paid tribute to his colleague, saying: “Kieran was ambitious for Tameside. He was bold, innovative and thoughtful. My thoughts are with Sue and his sons at this tragic time.”

In a statement Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne said: “I’m absolutely devastated at the news of Kieran’s passing. He wasn’t just a political colleague, but a friend.

“He believed in the power of local government to make a difference to people’s lives and in his seven year tenure of Tameside Council, always sought to do the right thing for the communities of our borough.

“I was last with Kieran in Denton Town Hall, just before Christmas, where he’d come down to see some of the teething problems caused by the new Open Plus Library system. He was always willing to listen and to accept changes if they were needed: a good attribute so often missing from politicians.

“Kieran took on the leadership of Tameside Council at just the point things got hard in local government, with Tameside losing half of its grant funding since 2010, and yet he always retained that vision of creating a fairer, more equal, better borough. His legacy will be the investment brought into Tameside, and ongoing projects that he championed like the Tameside Wellness Centre.

“But most of all, at this sad time, my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sue, and their boys Matthew and Liam. Rest in peace my friend.”

Tributes: The front cover of the book of condolence to Cllr Quinn, who dedicated much of his life to public service

Labour’s High Peak MP Ruth George added: “I am shocked and terribly sad to hear of the sudden passing of my friend and colleague Kieran Quinn, Leader of Tameside Council.

“I’ve known and worked with Kieran for over 20 years and he has always been a very dedicated, principled and thoughtful person, a very effective leader through some tough times. My thoughts are with Kieran’s wife Sue and all his family.”

Housing association New Charter Group has also paid tribute to Councillor Quinn.

In a statement the Group said Cllr Quinn had played a key role in the creation of New Charter back in 2000 and supported the ballot to transfer Tameside Council’s housing stock to the housing provider which now owns around 20,000 homes across Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire.

New Charter’s Chief Executive Ian Munro said: “This is a terrible loss for Tameside, Greater Manchester and local government across the country.

“Kieran worked tirelessly for the benefit of all and his support for New Charter was instrumental in the Group’s success. I count myself privileged to call him a friend and colleague. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Following the housing stock transfer, Kieran continued to support the work of New Charter and, as council leader, he worked to deliver many new homes across Tameside.

He also backed New Charter’s upcoming merger with Adactus Housing Group recently becoming a member of the Shadow Board of Jigsaw Group – the new housing association which will be created in early 2018 with more than 33,000 homes across the North West and East Midlands.

Online Reaction

Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds said he was “absolutely bereft at the news.”

Ashton MP Angela Rayner called Cllr Quinn “a real friend” and passed on her condolences to his family.

The Conservative leader in Tameside, Cllr John Bell, gave his thoughts and prayers to Cllr Quinn’s family at this difficult time.

Liam Billington, the Conservative party candidate for Stalybridge South said he was “Immensely passionate about Droylsden and Tameside.”

The former Mayor of Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, called Cllr Quinn a “proud trade unionist.”

Audenshaw Councillor Oliver Ryan posted a short message.

The leader of Trafford Council, Sean Anstee, said he was a kind man.

Tameside’s Civic Mayor, Cllr Joyce Bowerman, also paid tribute:

Oldham MP Jim McMahon also paid his respects to Cllr Quinn:

Dr Kailash Chand, OBE, Chair of Tameside Healthwatch, and a personal friend of Cllr Kieran Quinn for more than 20 years, also added his tribute.
“I am very sad and sorry to hear of the sudden death of my very sincere and good friend,Kieran. He was a really kind, fair and decent man who was a tremendous ambassador for Tameside and on a personal level was very supportive of my work.
“It is beyond words for me to be able to express my shock at his death. He was such a sincere and loyal friend for over 20 years. Only very recently we had enjoyed an evening out. He loved Tameside to bits and was one of the best council leaders we have ever had.
“His passing is a really sad loss to family, friends and the Greater Manchester community. Kieran was such a kind man who contributed a lot to health and social care.
“RIP Kieran Thoughts with Susan, Liam and the family.”

Everyone at the Tameside Reporter would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Cllr Kieran Quinn.

Paying our respects: (left to right) Tameside Radio station manager James Dean, Glossop Chronicle editor David Jones and Tameside Reporter editor Nigel Skinner sign the book of condolence for Cllr Quinn at Dukinfield Town Hall