Saddleworth mourns death of community stalwart Derek Heffernan

Saddleworth is mourning the death of community stalwart Derek Heffernan.

He died peacefully on Saturday, December 21 with his wife Di by his side, confirmed Saddleworth Parish Council.

Di and Derek Heffernan in his Mayoral year

Liberal Democrat Mr Heffernan, 80, was elected on to Saddleworth Parish Council in May 1987 and served until 2018, twice holding the role of Chairman in 1992-93 and 1999-2000.

In 1995, he was elected to Oldham Council to represent Saddleworth West Ward, which became Saddleworth North in 2004, and served the ward until 2019.

He was elected Mayor of the Borough for 2016-17 and was a member of the Mayor’s Appeal Fund Committee for many years.

Mr Heffernan made it a hat-trick of civic titles when he became Mayor of Austerlands earlier this year.

He continued the tradition of leading down the first band at the Scouthead Whit Friday Band Contest in June.

He was also heavily involved in community life and was a dedicated fundraiser, particularly as chair of Saddleworth Macmillan Cancer Support group.

The funeral will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead on Monday, January 6 at 11.30am followed by committal at Oldham Crematorium. No flowers please, donations in lieu if desired to The Catholic Children’s Rescue Society, Francis House Children’s Hospice  or Macmillan Cancer Relief c/o G. Barlow and Sons Ltd., 17-19 Union Street West, OL8 1DQ Tel: 0161 624 4301.

The borough flag will be flown at half-mast on the day of his funeral.

Councillor Howard Sykes, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, said: “Derek will be very sadly missed by friends and colleagues not only in the Liberal Democrat Group but across both the councils.

“He was my personal friend and a very loyal colleague. I first met Derek in the 1980s and was very pleased to help him first get elected many moons ago.

“He was an elder statesman for us – a man of few words but always spoke common sense and was listen too. Our sympathies are with his family and wife Di.”

A Book of Condolence is available at the Civic Entrance (Rochdale Road Reception) at the Civic Centre or you can sign an online book of condolence at

One Reply to “Saddleworth mourns death of community stalwart Derek Heffernan”

  1. So sad to hear of Mr Heffernans passing, he was such a gentleman. I had the pleasure of meeting him during his office as Mayor at functions with Chadderton Together, and Cancer Aid Network. Thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP

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