Tributes to community champion

The late Alderman Anne Turnock
The late Alderman Anne Turnock

A POPULAR Wigan Honorary Alderman lost a battle against ill health at the weekend.

Ex-councillor Anne Turnock was born into the world of local politics and the ethos of the importance of community service, and she would serve on the authority for more than 14 years.

She was also a committed school governor at her local primary school for many years and a Labour stalwart, with branch secretary among many positions held over the years.

Labour activists said that her absence from its election campaigning because of ill health had left a “big hole”.

Mrs Turnock, who is survived by her husband Bob and two children, was first elected to Leigh East in 1996, finally retiring in 2010.

Close friend and Mayor elect of Wigan, Coun Susan Loudon, said that Mrs Turnock had been a valued political colleague.

She said: “She worked tirelessly for her area particularly the Westleigh area of Leigh and people still stopped her in the street to tell her their problems even though she was no longer their councillor. She was a stalwart of Leigh Labour Party distributing leaflets with her mother at a very early age.

Leader of the council Lord Peter Smith, who knew Mrs Turnock for more than three decades, said that she had been a “great servant” to her home town and Labour.

Mrs Turnock was a school governor at Newton Westpark and Leigh CE Juniors Schools.

He said: “Anne’s mother and father had both been Labour stalwarts so when Anne also joined she was keeping up the family tradition.

“Eventually she won a council seat in a by-election and remained an excellent local councillor until she retired when her hard work was recognised by her appointment as an Honorary Alderman.

“Anne was not the kind of councillor given to long-winded speeches but she tirelessly worked for her communities and made her points very effectively.”