TRIBUTES have been paid to a true gentleman — a man who dedicated his life to Bury.

"Loved by everyone, there was no one like him" — these are the fond memories that people have of former Moorside councillor Peter Ashworth.

Mr Ashworth was known for his fantastic bowling skills and support for various groups across the borough, including the Freemasons and Communic8te Bury.

He served as a local government officer for Bury Council for 38 years, working as a principal officer in the revenues department.

He was first elected as a Conservative councillor for Unsworth in 2003-4, and represented Moorside from 2006.

Paying tribute, leader of Bury Conservatives, Cllr James Daly, said: "He was a very gentle and kind man.

"He was very much involved in Bury, for Bury. He was passionate about the town and its history. He was someone who contributed to the town's civic life for his whole life. It was very very important to him.

"He was a man who never criticised anyone. He was a very positive man who wanted to do his best.

"He was one of the true good guys who have been involved in politics in Bury. It is very rare that you find someone who is well liked on both sides like he was."

Mr Ashworth died at his home in Heywood Street, last Wednesday, aged 81. He had been due to take a holiday in Wales.

He was described by many as "a good man" and a "Bury man through and through."

He undertook his term in office as the 35th mayor of the borough when he was 70, in 2008-9. As a single man, the mayor asked his cousin, Dorrie Burgess, to be his "senior mayoress".

Politically, he took on roles as president of Salisbury Conservative Club and served on various committees including resource and planning. He was also Bury's spokesman on the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

The leader of Bury Council, Cllr Rishi Shori, said: "We are all very sorry to hear of the death of Peter Ashworth, who served the borough admirably as a councillor and as the Mayor of Bury in 2008-09.

“Peter was a true gentleman, who always treated everyone with courtesy and respect, and a proud Bury man through and through.

“Our thoughts and sympathies go to his family, friends and loved ones.”

Mr Ashworth was also a very community-focused man, heavily involved at Communic8te Bury, serving first as a board member and then as chair from September 2010.

He oversaw the relaunch of the charity from Bury Society For Deaf and Hearing Impaired People to Communic8te Bury in 2014.

Mr Ashworth gave his time, and donated his money, to ensuring that Bury's deaf and hard of hearing had access to services.

Manager Robert Quayle said: "He was one of the very rare gentlemen you will ever meet.

"He was a person everyone loved, very kind, very passionate.

"We trustees all always looked up to him. He was someone you never stopped learning from. There was no one like him around.

"He will be greatly missed by staff, trustees, volunteers and members."