Tributes pour in after death of Burnley councillor

Coun. Frank Ashworth. (s)
Coun. Frank Ashworth. (s)

TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a “happy, helpful and hard-working” Burnley councillor who has died.

A well-known face throughout town, Coun. Frank Ashworth died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on Wednesday aged 73. He had been battling illness during the past year.

His wife Eileen, of Glen View Road, Burnley, described him as a passionate man who wanted to get things done. “He really was just a happy, helpful and hard-working man,” she said. “When he joined the council it was something he was 100% committed to. He really enjoyed helping people.”

Mr Ashworth studied at Stoneyholme School and Burnley Grammar School before taking up an apprenticeship at Lucas. After spending a number of years in Australia during the 1960s he returned home and went back to Lucas in the 1970s.

In 1982 he met Eileen and the couple married two years later.

A man of many talents, Mr Ashworth was a keen ballroom dancer and enjoyed cooking. He retired as electronics manager from AIT, formerly Lucas, in 1998.

He was elected councillor for the Rosehill and Burnley Wood ward in 2007, served as a magistrate for 15 years and was chairman of the licensing committee.

A member of Habergham Eaves Parish Council he also served on the Mayoress’s Committee as well as being involved with the Friends of Pendle Community Hospital.

Burnley MP and friend Coun. Gordon Birtwistle described him as a thoroughly nice guy, saying: “He was a fantastic guy. He raised thousands for the Pendle Community Hospital in Nelson and was an extremely effective and hard-working councillor for Burnley. You really could not say anything wrong about Frank at all. It’s very sad news.”

Burnley Council leader Coun. Charlie Briggs could not say enough kind words about a “brave and hard-working” man who always gave his all.

A service will take place at Burnley Crematorium at 2-20 p.m. on Thursday. Mr Ashworth leaves his wife Eileen, daughter Gillian, step-daughter Kathryn and three grandchildren.