Plans to honour pioneering Flintshire politician with Purple Plaque submitted to council
Plans for a Purple Plaque to honour one of the first female MPs in Wales have been submitted to Flintshire County Council.
Eirene White was a journalist and civil servant who went on to become Labour MP for East Flintshire between 1950-1970.
When Labour came to power under Harold Wilson in 1964, White became parliamentary under-secretary at the Colonial Office, in 1966 Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and in 1967 Minister of State at the Welsh Office for three years.
Eirene White managed to hang on to the Flintshire constituency for 20 years, at one election by just 72 votes, she was succeeded by Barry Jones, now Lord Barry Jones,
White also served as chairman of the Fabian Society and of the Labour Party NEC 1968–9. She was a governor of the British Film Institute and a member of the board of Trade Films Council.
After World War II White was a political correspondent for both the Manchester Evening News and the BBC before entering into politics herself.
She has been recognised by the Women’s Equality Network Wales 100 Welsh Women list, created to mark the contributions of women, past and present who have made brilliant contributions to our national life.
Flint Town Council now wants to place a Purple Plaque on the town hall in recognition of the former MP, who died in 1999, aged 90.
The town council has submitted an application to the local authority for listed building consent.
According to the minutes of a Flint Town Council meeting in January this year, Delyn MS Hannah Blythyn MS contacted the council “regarding the Wales-wide Purple Plaque campaign and a potential plaque in Flint that recognises former MP, Eirene White.”
The council agreed to have a plaque on the town hall, it was also agreed that the council donate £500 towards it.
The Purple Plaques campaign has been created to improve the recognition of remarkable women in Wales and award them with a plaque to commemorate their achievements and cement their legacy in Welsh history.
The campaign was launched on International Women’s Day 2017, by a group of volunteers who felt the need for more recognition for the contribution women make to Welsh life.
Across Wales, it is thought there are 250 mainly blue plaques commemorating notable figures but the overwhelming majority highlight men’s achievements.
A decision on the application is expected from Flintshire Council next month.