Lydia unveils stone honouring her work

Published: 16 May 2017

Lydia Simmons OBE unveiled a commemorative stone at a new council housing development named in her honour; Lydia Court.

Lydia Simmons, 78, is former Mayor of Slough and was the first black lady Mayor in the country.

Lydia Court is a development of 11 new council homes, being built on the site of the old Eschle Court, Elliman Avenue.

The one, two and three bedroom apartments are being built for the council by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) ) a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd which is driving regeneration across the town including in leisure, housing, community and school buildings.

Lydia Court also includes a ground floor three bedroom apartment built to wheelchair standards, with its own front door access, dedicated parking and garden area.

This specially designed property will be allocated to a family currently on the housing waiting list and housing officers are working with occupational therapists to ensure the needs of the family are met.

Lydia was the Mayor of Slough in the municipal year 1984/85 becoming the first ever black lady Mayor in the whole of the UK.

She was born in Montserrat in the Caribbean in 1938 and came to Slough in 1960, serving as a councillor from 1979 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2007. She was chair of the committee responsible for housing from 1985 to 1994, shadow commissioner for housing and commissioner for social exclusion and neighbourhood services.

She was also given an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2011.

Councillor Zaffar Ajaib, commissioner for housing and urban renewal, said: “I can think of no better person to have a new council housing development named for than Lydia.

“Lydia has a long history of service to Slough residents, particularly in the area of housing, and we wanted to honour her incredible service, loyalty and advocacy to the town.”

David Freer, development manager, Slough Urban Renewal, said: “Lydia Court will be a tremendous asset to the housing stock in Slough and naming it reflects the long association Lydia Simmons has with the town.

“SUR are proud to be associated with the scheme and we are looking forward to seeing the units occupied later in the summer when the scheme is handed over to the council.”