Portsmouth’s first woman elected as a councillor honoured

A new blue plaque has been installed in Southsea commemorating Kate Edmonds, who became the city’s first woman elected as a councillor in 1918, along with the activist suffragettes who supported her.

Just a few months after women finally gained the right to vote, Kate became the first woman to be elected onto the then Portsmouth Borough Council on 17 November 1918, winning her seat in St. Simon’s ward with a majority of over 600 votes.

As the nation marked the 100th anniversary of the landmark decision of granting the vote to women, a motion, proposed by Cllr Suzy Horton, was passed at a full council meeting calling on the city to mark the achievements of Kate and fellow suffragettes from the city.

At the time, Cllr Horton said that she hoped that hoped the new tribute would inspire youngsters to learn more about the suffrage movement.

To this end, a blue plaque, created by local ceramicist Annie Flitcroft who is based in The Hotwalls Studios, has been now installed at the former Women’s Suffrage HQ at 2 Kent Road, Southsea.

Councillor Chris Attwell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services, said: “Kate Edmonds, and the activist suffragettes she worked with, helped to inspire future generations of women.

“I’m delighted that this unique blue plaque, created under a mile away at The Hotwalls Studios, has now been installed as promised by the council to mark their achievements.”

A dedication ceremony for the plaque will take place in early 2022.