Bill Winlow was born in Sunderland and grew up in Ashington, in Northumberland. He was educated at Morpeth Grammar School and the universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and St Andrews, Scotland. He has lived in Glasgow, New York City, Brighton, and Leeds and now lives with his wife near Preston in Lancashire. He joined the Liberal Party (later Liberal Democrats) in 1974 and has been a member ever since.
Bill was elected to the Leeds City Council in 1986 and remained a councillor for Moortown Ward until 1999, by which time he had become Opposition leader. He became an Honorary Alderman of the City of Leeds in 2008. He moved to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston in 1999 and later became a medical writer. In 2009, Bill was elected to the Preston West Division of Lancashire County Council, from which he retired in May 2017 after leading the Liberal Democrat Group for seven years.
Bill is very well equipped to be the MP for Heywood and Middleton as he served as a leading councillor for 21 years. He has successfully dealt with many thousands of items of individual casework during that time. He believes in working with others and across party lines to get things done. Over the last four years he and his group have worked harmoniously with Labour in the successful running of Lancashire County Council in the face of severe budget cuts imposed by the Conservative Government. Bill always does his best for the people he represents and will continue to do so if elected as MP for Heywood and Middleton.