Funeral date for the last mayor of Leigh

Former Leigh Mayor, Alderman Lawrence Birtles JP, who has died aged 98
Former Leigh Mayor, Alderman Lawrence Birtles JP, who has died aged 98
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THE last surviving Mayor of Leigh, Alderman Lawrence Birtles, has died at the grand old age of 98.

Wigan’s current Mayor today led tributes to the local Labour Party grandee who was one of the borough’s longest-serving politicians.

Coun Joy Birch offered her sincere condolences to the family and praised his valuable service to the community.

She will attend his funeral on Tuesday at St Thomas’s CE Church on Chapel Street in Leigh and later she will pay formal tribute to Alderman Birtles at the next meeting of the Full Council.

Lawrence Birtles served as a member of the former Leigh Borough Council for 21 years from 1949 until 1970.

He was Mayor of Leigh in 1960-61 and after local authority re-organisation was a member of the former Greater Manchester Council from 1981 until 1986 and then of Wigan Council from 1987 until May 1995, representing the Hope Carr Ward.

His main areas of council service were in the fields of establishment, finance, highways and works, road safety, public protection and social services.

He was made an honorary alderman in April 1996 in recognition of his valuable service to the council and to the wider community.

Alderman Birtles leaves a daughter Norma, grandson Darran, daughter-in-law Nadia and grandson Christopher.

The funeral service was held at 3pm on Tuesday at St Thomas’s followed by committal at Howe Bridge Crematorium.

Donations, if desired, can be made to Wigan and Leigh Hospice.