Pat Hawkes has sadly died at the age of 86.
She represented Brighton’s Hollingdean and Stanmer ward from 1981 to 2011 as a Labour Councillor, first on the former Brighton Borough Council and then on Brighton and Hove City (unitary) Council.
She was part of the first Labour administration in 1986 and chaired the environmental health committee.
Pat became Mayor of Brighton in 1988 and later became chairperson of the city’s education committee. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her contribution to education and served as President of the National Union of Teachers.
Pat was a teacher at several schools across the city and East Sussex before leaving the profession in 1997 to work as the lead councillor for education. One of her most important and controversial decisions was to introduce new catchment areas and a lottery for some secondary school places in 2007.
After announcing her retirement, she spoke of the success of the scheme. She said: “I knew it was right – parents now know where they stand. Although they do not always like the outcome, there is much more equality across the city.”
In 2009, at the age of 72, Pat announced she would be stepping down as councillor for Hollingdean and Stanmer to spend more time travelling.
She died at her home in Normandy, France, where she had lived for some years.
The Labour Group are grateful for Pat’s valuable contributions to Brighton and Hove and our Party. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.