Cllr O’Neill’s political career spanned three decades, including seven years as leader of the council. He first became a parish councillor in 1983 and was borough councillor from 1991. He was a dedicated and loyal servant to the people of Warrington, particularly those in his ward of Burtonwood and Winwick.
Cllr O’Neill leaves a strong local legacy and was instrumental in driving forward Warrington’s regeneration and economic growth, leading on major highways improvements and driving a business-friendly approach, which has helped solidify Warrington as one of the country’s most attractive destinations for business.
He was a lifelong Warrington Wolves fan and chair of the board of trustees of Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation.
Cllr O’Neill’s positive public impact also transcended Warrington and he was a strong advocate for the borough on the national stage. He was chair of the North West Regional Leaders Board and was a member of both the Transport for the North Partnership Board and the London Marathon Charities Trust. He was also a very active board member of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.
Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “Terry was a wonderful servant to his town and I will fondly remember his unwavering loyalty and passion for Warrington, as well as his daily commitment to making our borough a better place for everyone.
“He has helped steer us through austerity, was a driving force behind regeneration including Omega and the Time Square development and, regardless of politics, was a real champion for Warrington and our communities. He always wanted to do his best for our town – he made a massive contribution and it was an honour to be his friend and colleague.
“My thoughts are with Terry’s family and our best wishes and condolences are with them all today and in the days ahead.”
The Town Hall flag is being flown at half-mast until Friday morning and cards of condolence can be sent to the Town Hall, Sankey Street, care of Professor Steven Broomhead, the council’s Chief Executive.