Politicians, friends and loved ones turn out for funeral of former Wigan Council leader

Politicians and community figures from Wigan and further afield said their final goodbyes to former council leader Lord Peter Smith.

Lord Peter Smith
Lord Peter Smith

Mourners gathered at Leigh Parish Church for a funeral on Friday afternoon, with speakers and seating provided outside in case a large number of people attended.

Among them were Labour’s Greater Manchester Mayor and former Leigh MP Andy Burnham and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, who both worked closely with Lord Smith for many years.

Hide Ad

Members of the Conservative Party also paid their respects, including Leigh MP James Grundy and Bolton West MP Chris Green.

The coffin is carried into Leigh Parish Church

The cortege had made its way from Lord Smith’s home in Leigh and passed Leigh Sports Village, which he played an instrumental role in creating, on its way to the church.

The black hearse pulled up outside the church and a photograph of Lord Smith could be seen inside.

Hide Ad

A red and white floral arrangement, which included the red roses associated with the Labour party, was on top of the coffin as it was carried into the church by pallbearers.

The moving service was a fitting tribute to Lord Smith, who died earlier this month at the age of 76.

Hide Ad
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy arrives at the church
Read More
Lord Peter Smith's journey from Leigh to the helm of Wigan Council and a seat in...
Hide Ad

He worked hard to change the lives of people in his home town and played a key role in the development of Leigh Sports Village, now the home of Leigh Centurions and Manchester United’s women’s team.

Lord Smith was also leader of Wigan Council for 27 years, until stepping down three years ago, and was committed to transforming the borough from post-mining decline to a thriving and modern place.

Hide Ad

His success as council leader led to many regional and national appointments over the years, including with AGMA and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham arrives to pay his respects
Hide Ad

He was made Lord Smith of Leigh in 1999 for his work in local government and 20 years later he won the prestigious LGiU Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment and determination in seeing through the improvement in Wigan.

Lord Smith is survived by his wife Lady Joy Smith and their daughter Anna.

Hide Ad

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here