Childcare project to be launched in memory of former St Helens chief executive

Carole Hudson
Carole Hudson
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An annual project will commemorate former St Helens Council chief executive Carole Hudson, who died suddenly while on holiday in November.

Carole, who was awarded the CBE in recognition of her outstanding services to local government, held the reins at the town hall between 1991 and 2015.

The mum-of-two died suddenly, aged 63, while holidaying in America.

At full council on Wednesday, council leader Derek Long called Carole a “remarkable public servant” and a “force of nature”, respected across the political and professional divide.

The Labour leader said the council has been “overwhelmed” with gestures of good will and support from people who worked with Carole and from the public.

Coun Long also revealed the council will launch an annual project named after Carole Hudson that will support children in care.

He said the council will look to build on the recent Christmas hamper project that saw children, young people and businesses donate more than £7,000 and hundreds of items to care leavers.

Coun Long said: “We will commemorate her passing more formally in the weeks ahead after having discussion with her family about a fitting away to pay our respects.

“One of the things we will do in commemoration is to create an annual project named after Carole that will support children and young people in the care of this council.

“Many will know of some of the great work that was done in the run up to the Christmas, and our intention is to build upon that as the years go ahead.

“I think that will be a fitting annual recollection of Carole’s contribution to this borough.”

Fighting back tears, Coun Marlene Quinn, cabinet member for adult social care, said it was a “privilege and an honour” to have worked with Carole.

The Labour councillor said the former chief executive was “formidable, tenacious and diligent” as a public servant, but said it was her “approachable and amenable” nature that endeared her to the people of St Helens.

Conservative leader Allan Jones called the former chief executive “brilliant” and revealed he was left speechless when he found out she had died.

Liberal Democrat leader Teresa Simms was on the interview panel when Carole was first employed by the council, aged 32 and six months pregnant.

The Eccleston councillor said Carole was a “one-off that won’t be repeated”.