Colleagues at Warrington Borough Council Pay Tribute to Neil Astles

Publish date: 27/04/2021

Paul Clisby, Legal Team Manager (Corporate) at Warrington Borough Council pays tribute to colleague Neil Astles who sadly passed away last week.

It is with great sadness that I report the sudden and untimely death of Neil Astles of Newton Le Willows who was a Senior Property Lawyer at Warrington Borough Council. Readers may have seen the reports in the media linking his death to the Covid19 vaccine.

Neil was only with the Council for 15 months but had a long and distinguished career in the public sector in the North West of England.

Neil started as a 16 year old trainee at St Helens Council. He specialised in property law and whilst working for Warrington and Runcorn Development Corporation and the Councils of Manchester, Vale Royal, Preston, Bolton and Sefton he studied and achieved Fellowship of the Institute of Legal Executives. Again whilst working at Sefton he obtained a First Class degree in Law and qualified as a Solicitor.

Subsequently he held senior positions at West Lancashire, Knowsley and finally at Warrington.

Neil was an exceptional solicitor. He was skilled, knowledgeable and able to deal with some of the most complex, high profile and high value property matters that Warrington Council have ever have to deal with. Neil was also generous with his time, giving advice and support to junior colleagues as well as assisting other officers with difficult issues. He did this all with a modest, unassuming and down to earth style.

It wasn't just in Legal Services that Neil had an excellent reputation, colleagues from across the Council appreciated his support and assistance. Indeed, since the news of Neil's passing has become known, we have been contacted by his former colleagues from across the North West who have sent messages of condolence and comments about Neil's skill and aptitude as a solicitor.

Neil made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the north west over the past 40 years contributing to the public purse and providing great places for the public to receive public services, live, work and enjoy their leisure. In short he led a professional life which is an exemplar to Local Government Lawyers and to Lawyers in general.

I am proud to have worked with Neil and to have called him a colleague. This is a sentiment shared by all those who worked with him.

All at Warrington Borough Council would like to publicly extend our sincere condolences to Neil's wife, family and friends and express our admiration for the courage his family have displayed.