Tributes to Honorary Alderman

Ron Capstick
Ron Capstick

TRIBUTES have been paid to an Honorary Alderman who has died at the age of 71.

Former Orrell Labour councillor Ron Capstick died at Wigan’s St George’s nursing home at the weekend.

He retired from council duties in 2005 after five terms as a councillor, receiving the borough’s top civic honour later that year.

A former train driver and official for the union ASLEF, Wigan Rugby fan Mr Capstick is survived by wife Clarice and his daughters Janet, who lives in Australia, and Denise.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.

Mr Capstick was first elected to the Orrell Ward in 1979 and went on to become chairman of the public protection committee and vice-chairman of recreation and amenities, along with active membership of the education, policy and resources and social services committees, and a number of panels, including those for the housing and environment.

He was also a Governor at St Peter’s RC High School and Orrell St James’ RC Primary School.

He moved into St George’s Nursing Home six years ago as his family fought to help him batle dementia.

His daughter Denise, a nurse, is a Lib Dem councillor and former Mayor for the London Borough of Southwark, where she has lived for more than 20 years.

She says that her late father was her mentor in politics and he would “never ever” turn away callers at his door when they needed his help as a councillor.

Ms Capstick said: “Dad was an inspiration to me and the reason I entered the NHS, became a union rep and eventually a councillor myself.

“He was very much a people person and he really cared about people and fairness which is what lead him into the trade union movement and eventually local politics.

“As a union rep for ASLEF I remember the hours he spent on the phone and with his typewriter negotiating with managers on everything from working hours to adequate refreshment facilities for driver out of hours.

“Dad had the ability to communicate at their level with everyone he met. He got elected because he cared about his area and the people who lived there.

Coun David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Ron was a very popular man and he will sadly be missed by his many friends and family. I always valued his input both in the Labour group and full council.”