Councillor 1922-35

Councillor Mrs Parsons 1922 - 1935

In 1922 Daisy stood as Labour (SDF) nominee for Beckton ward and was elected on 1st November 1922 as councillor.

Sister Edith Kerrison (the first woman councillor in West Ham) was already a councillor for this ward and Daisy was seen as one of her lieutenants.

Daisy was on the committee of the St Mary's Hospital. Her interest in health and welfare had grown from her days in ELFS.

In 1931 Alderman Scoulding, the Mayor, chose Daisy as his deputy. She was the first woman deputy Mayor and it was a troublesome time. Unemployment was at previously unknown heights and she became the first woman to take the chair at a council meeting at a very stormy meeting of the council. Appreciation of her success in the chair was shown in the mayoral summing up:

From the Stratford Express 12th November 1932

Alderman Scoulding’s difficult year …

Councillor W Thorne; It was the unanimous decision of his colleagues on both sides of the council chamber that he should move a vote of thanks to Ald. Scoulding for the splendid work he had rendered to the citizens of West Ham during the past twelve months.

No man had ever sat in that chair who had such a difficult job as Ald. Scoulding

His troubles started three days after his election as mayor. The Town Clerk received a letter from the Minister in regard to Economy Bill No. 2 and there were other circulars and everyone knew what that meant. …

He has a very valuable assistant in the Deputy Mayor. I thought I was one of the best Deputy Mayors but I found to my surprise that a woman could do better. I shall never forget the night when the Mayor was absent. Councillor Parsons was called on to occupy the chair. She had a very difficult problem to deal with including a deputation from the unemployed, and she excelled herself in the conduct of the business. … I want the name of the Deputy Mayor to be associated with this vote of thanks.

Councillor Kerrison; in supporting the proposition, extolled the work of the Mayoress and of the Deputy Mayor. She felt very proud because she had always advocated women being allowed to fill the more prominent roles. She always thought they could do it as well as men – she would not say better. She had been pleased and very proud at the way in which Councillor Parsons had filled the chair and taken the Mayor’s place. …

Councillor Parsons; Added her testimonial to the work of Mr Davis and took the opportunity of saying how much she had enjoyed her year of office as Deputy Mayor. It would have been impossible to carry out the duties unless she had the confidence and support of members in all times of difficulty.

In 1933 she became a JP. Not long after her first case she was taken ill. In her earlier photographs she can be seen as a slim young woman - Sylvia Pankhurst called her 'bird-like, tiny' - but by the time she was Deputy Mayor she had noticeably gained weight. In 1934 she was taken into Whipps Cross Hospital and her family were allowed to see her at any time, so serious was her illness. She was diagnosed as a diabetic.

 

 

Last update: 1st May 2007