Tributes after death of young Farnworth councillor

Cllr Asha Ali Ismail

Cllr Asha Ali Ismail

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

TRIBUTES have been paid to Farnworth councillor Asha Ali Ismail, who has lost her battle against cancer aged just 34.

Cllr Ismail, who represented the Harper Green ward, died on Monday.

The town hall flag was flown at half mast as a mark of respect.

Cllr Ismail was elected on December 19 in a by-election after the death of Cllr Margaret Clare, who had represented the ward for more than 20 years.

Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, led the tributes to his colleague, who he said was “passionate” about the community she represented.

He added: “I have known Asha since she was a little girl, as she went to Gilnow Primary School when I was chairman of governors there.

“She was getting into ward work, she had wanted to be a councillor for a while. She will be sadly missed. She was a bright young woman and a lovely young woman and our condolences to her family.

“She was born in Bolton and was passionate about Bolton and the people she was representing.”

Cllr Ismail, an agency social worker who lived in Gilnow Gardens, Bolton, was elected councillor for the safe Labour seat after securing 744 votes out of the 1,450 cast.

She became the first African-British councillor on Bolton Council.

Cllr Ismail had previously stood for election in Bradshaw in 2012.

Her election promise was to “work closely” with residents and community groups.

Farnworth councillor Noel Spencer said: “It came as a real shock. I knew she was ill, but just last week we had hopes that she was responding better to the treatment.

“To be taken at such a young age is a real tragedy.”

“She had the potential to be a real star and will be a real loss to the party and the people she was serving.”


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Bolton Council’s deputy chief executive, Margaret Asquith, said: “We were very sad to hear the news about Cllr Ismail.

“On behalf of the council, I would like to convey our condolences to her family and friends at this time.

“The town hall flag has been flown at half-mast as a sign of respect.”

Cllr Sufrana Ismail, who represents Crompton Ward, added: “She was passionate about making a difference and becoming a councillor was one of her biggest achievements in her short life.

“Asha was the first Somali woman to become a councillor in Bolton and, when she was recently diagnosed with cancer, she hoped to use her role to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

“She was a friend as well as party colleague and I will miss her. Asha was much loved and is survived by her mum, brothers and sisters.”

Cllr Ismail had given up her budding media career to become a carer for her father, who suffered from cancer.

The funeral service took place on Tuesday at the Zakariyya Mosque and was attended by councillors.

Comments (9)

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6:20am Wed 30 Jul 14

Bond123 says...

RIP sister
RIP sister Bond123
  • Score: 14

7:22am Wed 30 Jul 14

oftbewildered2 says...

very sad - condolences to friends and family.
very sad - condolences to friends and family. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 15

9:09am Wed 30 Jul 14

asian-nation says...

Why can the BN never get their stories right. Her funeral was held on Monday and not Tuesday. RIP
Why can the BN never get their stories right. Her funeral was held on Monday and not Tuesday. RIP asian-nation
  • Score: 4

9:37am Wed 30 Jul 14

Professional1 says...

Such sad news about Asha. She did all she could to "serve her community" so good on her.
Margaret Asquith is "director of children's and adults services" and she should not be allowed to comment on this news because Asha tried her best to help her community where Margaret Asquith and her team wait until it's to late and "learn lessons" from tragic events such as baby Rio (and it is still happening)
Such sad news about Asha. She did all she could to "serve her community" so good on her. Margaret Asquith is "director of children's and adults services" and she should not be allowed to comment on this news because Asha tried her best to help her community where Margaret Asquith and her team wait until it's to late and "learn lessons" from tragic events such as baby Rio (and it is still happening) Professional1
  • Score: 14

12:26pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Abbi1980 says...

RIP Asha! xx
RIP Asha! xx Abbi1980
  • Score: 7

12:43pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Preach says...

I had the fortune of meeting this lady, and she was a beautiful soul, strong and someone to aspire to. My thoughts are with her family and friends RIP Asha x
I had the fortune of meeting this lady, and she was a beautiful soul, strong and someone to aspire to. My thoughts are with her family and friends RIP Asha x Preach
  • Score: 10

3:24pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sean-Hornby says...

It was a shock to here today about the sad passing of councillor Asha Ali Ismail a fine new Labour Councillor for the Farnworth ward. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and also close friends who are having to come to terms with this news.

Whilst she has only been on Bolton Council a short time, her mark has been made and I am sure she will be remembered.

Former Cllr Sean Hornby
It was a shock to here today about the sad passing of councillor Asha Ali Ismail a fine new Labour Councillor for the Farnworth ward. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and also close friends who are having to come to terms with this news. Whilst she has only been on Bolton Council a short time, her mark has been made and I am sure she will be remembered. Former Cllr Sean Hornby Sean-Hornby
  • Score: 3

10:15pm Wed 30 Jul 14

SusanTM says...

The news of Asha's loss is heartbreaking. I have boundless happy memory of Asha's life that I knew and of her love of the Labour party.
Susan Haworth
The news of Asha's loss is heartbreaking. I have boundless happy memory of Asha's life that I knew and of her love of the Labour party. Susan Haworth SusanTM
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Thu 7 Aug 14

jeanie68 says...

RIP Asha , your missed at work dearly . my heart goes out to your family x
RIP Asha , your missed at work dearly . my heart goes out to your family x jeanie68
  • Score: 0

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