In the mid 1960s , following a rather heated council debate, an elderly, very experienced, Labour Alderman took me to one side and whilst commenting on my contribution proceeded to admonish me for the “personal nature” of some aspects of my speech.

I was reminded in no uncertain terms of the principles of free speech and freedom of expression and respect for other people’s views, that are expected in a democratic society and that he had spent his youth fighting a war for those very same principles.

It was a salutary lesson that I tried to remember throughout my service as councillor, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Bolton.

David Greenhalgh did not need such a lesson, as from the moment he entered public service as a councillor he embodied those very same principles.

In debate he could be and often was, as emotional, critically razor sharp and derisive, in an amusing way, in his political opposition to his opponents in the council chamber or committee room.

He had the ability and the magnanimity to then move on from debate, to take what had been determined and to get the best for the people he represented, whether it be the people of his ward or the people of Bolton.

In Bolton the main political parties have always had the ability to join together when “the chips are down” and put the people of Bolton first in the actions that they take.

David Greenhalgh proved to be another, of the long line of men and women who have served this town with distinction and selflessness; we thank his family and friends for allowing us to share his life of service.

Hon. Ald. Frank White JP