THE funeral of Labour leader Cllr Derek Bateman, who died suddenly at his Ellesmere Port home on Saturday, July 30, is to take place next week.

A service will be held at St Paul’s Church, Chester Road, Childer Thornton, on Tuesday, August 16, at 1.30pm.

The burial will follow at Overpool Cemetery in Rivacre Road, Ellesmere Port.

Cllr Bateman’s family have asked it to be known that all are welcome to attend the service, burial and also refreshments later at the Ellesmere Port Labour Club in Flat Lane.

A former machinist and fitter at Vauxhall Motors, the Labour leader, 62, had been involved with local politics for 36 years, having been first elected on to Ellesmere Port and Neston Council in 1974.

His service to his party, local government and home town prompted countless tributes from national, regional and local political and community leaders.

Last week former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott led the tributes, taking to Twitter to voice his shock.

He tweeted: “A great guy who made such a difference to the community. He’ll be sorely missed.”