Tributes to dedicated Penwortham Councillor and former Mayor who has died after cancer fight

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A  ‘community champion’ councillor, union president and school governor  has died aged 65.

Councillor David Wooldridge died on Wednesday, September 5 at St Catherine’s Hospice, after a four-year fight with prostate cancer.

The late Councillor David Wooldridge

The late Councillor David Wooldridge

Coun Wooldridge, who is survived by wife Carol, daughter Rachel and two grandchildren, was first elected as Labour borough councillor for Middleforth in 1991, and also represented the same community on Penwortham Town Council, becoming Mayor in 1995.

Causes he championed included the fight to save Kingsfold Library, road safety and neighbourhood services.

South Ribble Labour group leader, Councillor Paul Foster said: “David was a wonderful, warm, compassionate man, devoted to his family.

“He was a rock within our group, highly respected by all members and officers of the council. Right up until the end, he was influencing us all despite being ill, and you would never have known the seriousness of his condition.

“The speed at which he has been taken away is difficult to fathom, and our hearts and thoughts are with his wife Carol, daughter Rachel and wider family at this difficult time.

“David championed his local community in every way he could. He also championed equality, fairness and compassion. On a very personal note, he was a close friend and confidant, and I will miss him greatly.”

Coun Wooldridge was also chairman of the governing body at Moorhey Special School, having previously been the long-standing chairman of governors at Penwortham Girls High School.

He worked for 26 years at GEC/Alstrom before moving on to BAE Systems at Warton as an estimator, retiring in 2014. He had strong union links and was the president of Unite’s Preston branch.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014, he spent much of his time advertising the need for men to have a PSA blood test, a simple test which can indicate the possibility of a risk of prostate cancer. The test is not automatically offered by GPs and needs to be asked for by the individual.

His funeral will take place at 1.45pm on Monday at St Mary’s Church, Penwortham.

South Ribble Council has lowered its flags as a mark of respect.