Cllr Kieran Quinn, the executive leader of Tameside Council, has died. He suffered a heart attack while delivering Christmas cards on 23 December and died on the evening of Christmas Day.
Quinn served as leader of Tameaide from 2010, having been first elected as a councillor in 1994. In addition to the Tameside role, Quinn was a key figure at a Greater Manchester level, chairing the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and being one of the signatories of the city region’s devolution deal. He also sat on the board of housing association New Charter.
A statement from Tameside said: “Kieran will be sorely missed. First and foremost he was a great family man rooted in the community of Droylsden and Tameside. A deep belief that everyone was entitled to a good and fair start in life led him to dedicate his life to public service.
“He had a strong and clear vision as to how to make Tameside a better place for everyone and a determination to make that happen, despite austerity and the inordinate budgets cuts the borough faced.
“In his various roles Kieran made an enormous contribution to the community of Tameside and beyond. Whether astutely guiding Tameside Council through the most difficult period for local government in living memory, ensuring the GMPF grew into the largest, most successful pension fund in the UK against the wider trend of pensions shortfalls or fighting to reduce the north-south economic imbalance now widely recognised through the Northern Powerhouse agenda, he always stood up and provided the necessary leadership.”
Cllr John Taylor, deputy leader, will lead the council for now.
As news of Quinn’s death spread, tributes were paid from local political and civic figures including Jim McMahon, the Oldham leader turned MP, and Stalybridge MP Jonathan Reynolds. Richard Farnell, the former leader of Rochdale Council, described Quinn as “a good man and excellent leader of Tameside”. Michael Taylor, an independent board member of New Charter, said it had been a “privilege to serve with one of the greats of Greater Manchester public life”.
New Charter chief executive Ian Munro said: “This is a terrible loss for Tameside, Greater Manchester and local government across the country. Kieran worked tirelessly for the benefit of all and his support for New Charter was instrumental in the group’s success. I count myself privileged to call him a friend and colleague.”
Quinn backed New Charter’s upcoming merger with Adactus, recently becoming a member of the shadow board of Jigsaw Group – the new housing association which will be created with more than 33,000 homes in the North West and East Midlands.