‘Passionately political’ ex-councillor dies, aged 72
7:21am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Local
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Bolton councillor who devoted his life to public service.
Former Farnworth and Breightmet councillor Peter Johnston died from pneumonia last Thursday, March 14, at the age of 72.
A regular contributor to The Bolton News’ letters pages, he served as a Labour councillor in Farnworth between 1980 and 2002, before which he was a councillor in the old Farnworth South ward from 1979 to 1980 and the old Darcy Lever and Breightmet ward from 1973 to 1975.
His son, Edmund Johnston, aged 35, of Ainsworth Avenue, Horwich, said: “My father was a warm, loving and cheerfully awkward man, with forceful opinions and strong principles.
“He remained passionately political to the end, long after losing his council seat.
“He took great pleasure in life, above all from music, but also from good company, good food and single malt whisky.
“We miss him very much.”
Farnworth councillor Noel Spencer paid tribute to Mr Johnston for his contribution to public life in the borough.
He said: “Peter was on the council for many years and became very much involved with housing and public transport — he was the chairman of the old housing committee.
“He was quite an intellect and an orator.
“He was outspoken on issues he had strong views on.
He’ll be a big loss — he devoted his life to public service.”
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris also paid tribute to Mr Johnston.
He said: “Peter worked as a councillor for 20 years and served extremely well.
“He was a great colleague and he will be sadly missed. His great passion was transport.”
Bernadette Gallagher, the Bolton Unison branch secretary, said: “Although I certainly had my differences with Peter over the years he was a very good chairman of the personnel sub-committee.
He had a deep commitment to working with the trade unions and will be sadly missed.”
Mr Johnston leaves his son, two grandchildren Jacob and Hannah, and his partner Margaret Clare.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 30, at 11am in the Friends’ Meeting House, in Silverwell Street, Bolton. He will be given a woodland burial in his hometown, Carlisle, on April 2.
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