THE leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, Cllr Robert Vines, has paid tribute to former borough councillor Bill Whelan who died on Saturday after a battle with cancer.

Mr Whelan served as a borough councillor from 2007 to 2015 and was a lead member of the executive committee from 2007 to 2012 with responsibility for community development. In addition to the other committees he served on, he was chair of the council’s licensing committee from 2008 to 2011 and served as a member of the Severn Vale housing board from 2007 to 2011.

In 2015, Mr Whelan lost his seat and was made an honorary alderman - the highest award that can be made to a former councillor in recognition of exceptional service to the council and the people it represents.

He served on the parish councils in both Churchdown and Innsworth and recently was chair of Churchdown Parish Council.

Cllr Vines said: “Bill was well respected and liked by councillors and staff at the borough, county and parish councils. He was a great advocate for the local communities in Churchdown and Innsworth. He also did great work within those communities which led to the establishment of the GL3 Community Centre. He will be sadly missed and a great loss to the communities he served for so long. Our thoughts are with his partner, Kay, and his friends and family at this time.”