Tributes paid to former NHS chairman who helped bring Tyne Wear Metro and Nissan to the North East

Tributes have been paid to a devoted public servant who was instrumental in bringing each the Tyne and Wear Metro and Nissan to the North East.

Peter Smith, who has died at the age of 84, labored as a neighborhood authorities accountant for councils in the area earlier than changing into a chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

Before his retirement in 2015, his unimaginable achievements included negotiating central authorities funding to assemble the Tyne and Wear Metro, enjoying a key position securing the arrival of Nissan in Sunderland, and overseeing the constructing of the Peter Smith Surgery Centre in Gateshead.

Originally from West Yorkshire, Mr Smith had made his dwelling in Beamish, County Durham, and was a eager Newcastle United supporter.

He died final month after a stroke, abandoning spouse Judith Brown, youngsters Tim and Philippa, and stepdaughter Charlotte.

Mr Smith was born in Huddersfield to Frank Smith, a chauffeur, and his spouse, Annie, who was in service.

After attending Rastrick Grammar School he began work as a trainee accountant in the treasurer’s division at Huddersfield council.

He started to climb the public finance ladder, gaining his Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy qualification in 1962 whereas working at Chester City Council.

By 1969 he had moved to Gateshead Council as deputy treasurer.

When metropolitan counties had been created in 1973, he grew to become deputy county treasurer of Tyne and Wear, then county treasurer in 1980 till counties had been scrapped in 1987.

While there he negotiated central authorities funding to assemble the Tyne and Wear Metro and was closely concerned in securing the arrival of Nissan in Sunderland with a land deal and a purpose-built terminal on the Tyne – each enormous achievements for the North East.

In his early 50s he grew to become chair of the Gateshead Community Health Trust, shifting in 1990 to be chair of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, which grew to become a basis belief underneath his management.

Peter Smith, former chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead

He oversaw enlargement of the hospital, together with the constructing of the Peter Smith Surgery Centre.

His spouse Judith mentioned: “He was very happy with how the QE had turn into such an necessary and profitable hospital, with out debt, and delighted that the Peter Smith Surgery Centre was achieved with none PFI funding.”

Mr Smith retired in 2015 after 59 years in the public sector.

His ardour for cinema started with wartime youngsters’s matinees and continued till 2020 with weekly journeys to Tyneside Cinema, an necessary ritual.

He performed soccer and cricket at a excessive stage and grew to become an enthusiastic member of Yorkshire and Durham county cricket golf equipment, visiting all the county grounds.

He and Judith loved strolling journeys worldwide however his favorite was at all times a summer time six-day stroll in England, deliberate round Yorkshire cricket fixtures.

Judith, who ought to have been celebrating her twentieth wedding ceremony anniversary with him this yr, mentioned: “If you chop him by the center it will nonetheless say ‘West Yorkshire’, however his coronary heart was in the North East.

“He was honourable and honest minded – he sought honest play in life and work.

“On the day of his funeral, the entire village turned out simply to see him go – he was extremely revered, a lot beloved and very a lot missed.”

A spokesperson for the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust mentioned: “We had been deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Peter Smith final month. He was a longstanding Chair right here at Gateshead and for 19 years he confirmed enormous devotion to bettering companies for sufferers.

“During his time right here, his fixed focus was to enhance the high quality and security of companies to sufferers and he was instrumental in the constructing of the North East NHS Surgery Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2007. His affect ensures that the curiosity and well-being of employees are at the coronary heart of the work that all of us do.

“We thank Peter for his laborious work and dedication and we are going to at all times bear in mind him for his dedication to our companies right here at Gateshead. Our ideas are together with his household and family members.”



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