Yorkshire Post obituary
Maggie Clay, who has died suddenly at her home in Stockport, was a popular and respected Leeds Councillor. She represented Burmantofts for ten years on the City Council, 1978-80 and 1982-89, and for five years on the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1981 until its demise in 1986.
She first fought the ward at a by-election in August 1973. It was one of the safest Labour seats in Leeds with over 20,000 electors and no Liberal tradition. Not surprisingly it took her five attempts before she won the seat. She was very dogged and, in fact, she fought an election at one level or another in Leeds for ten consecutive years. Maggie Clay always lived in the ward and believed strongly that it was important to share the life of the electors one represented. At that time she was also very much associated with St Agnes Church in Shakespeare Close, Burmantofts. She was awarded the CBE in 1989, when she retired from Leeds City Council.
Maggie Clay contested the Leeds South-East parliamentary seat three times unsuccessfully against Labour MP, Stan Cohen, and then, when the boundaries were altered, she fought Denis Healey in Leeds East in 1983 and 1987.
Born in April 1947 she was brought up in Sussex and went to university in Sheffield and Leeds. At the latter she became a careers' adviser which was her paid employment until she went to work for the Association of Liberal Councillors based in Hebden Bridge. This latter post took her across the country assisting Liberal councillors and she became one of the most popular national party officials.
The tensions associated with holding the ALC together during the years of the Alliance between the Liberal Party and the SDP, and during the merger negotiating period, plus coping with a massive City Council load in Leeds, took their toll and she suffered from a stress related illness which required her to abandon the political scene and she moved to Bishops Castle in Shropshire where she opened an organic food shop. This was somewhat ahead of its time and Maggie Clay and the shop struggled to survive. Eventually she went to work for Age Concern in Manchester and began to be active once again in the party.
She was elected to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in 2004 and quickly took on key roles, including Deputy Leader and the Executive Member for Adults and Health. She also represented the council on a number of Stockport and Greater Manchester bodies. In recent months she had been more relaxed and effervescent than for some time and her death was a great shock and loss to her many friends and colleagues.
Margaret Grace Clay, 13 April 1947 to 2 April 2009