A well respected Oldham councillor and devoted family man passed away early this morning after a short battle with lung cancer.
Councillor Philip Harrison, of Moorside, was ward member for Royton South and the Cabinet member for Social Services and Community Health.
He leaves his wife, fellow Councillor Jenny Harrison, three sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council leader, said: “Phil was inspiring, flamboyant and compassionate. I feel utter sadness for Jenny and his wider family and for the Labour Party.
“Losing such a towering figure so close to Christmas is heartbreaking.”
Harrison was elected as a Labour councillor in 1996, and gained the cabinet post in 2010.
His brief included adult social care, housing adaptations and support for those with disabilities.
Oldham Council said his work had helped to forge the borough’s reputation as a national leader in aspects of health care.
Cllr McMahon added: “Phil has a legacy of caring for thousands of elderly people, some of the most vulnerable people in Oldham, fighting for those who many others forget and always treating those people with the same compassion as one of his own family members.”
Members of the public can pay their respects by contributing to book of condolences at the Civic Entrance of the town centre council building and at Royton Town Hall.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.