Tributes have been paid to the former leader of the Conservative party on Lichfield District Council who has died.
Arnold Ward CBE also served on Staffordshire County Council, where he represented the Lichfield Rural East ward from 1964 to 2002. At the time of his retirement he was the longest serving member of the council.
Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “I have fond memories of Arnold from the 14 years we served together on the county council and I was very saddened to hear the news of his death and my thoughts are very much with his family.
“Arnold represented people in the Lichfield Rural East Division and during his time was chairman and a much respected county councillor who served his residents well. He was involved in many committees helping to improve the lives of Staffordshire people.
“He is without doubt one of our true local statesmen and on his retirement was made an Honorary Alderman in recognition of his tireless contributions to local communities.”
Rivals from across the political divide also paid tribute.
Burntwood Labour councillor Sue Woodward said: “I’m sad to hear the news of Arnold’s death. Although he was from a different party, he was always an ‘encourager’ and champion of local government.”