A former West Norfolk mayor and long-serving councillor, Michael Langwade, has died.
Mr Langwade, who served in the civic office in 2003-4 and was deputy mayor in 2007-8, had been ill for some time and the news of his death was confirmed this afternoon.
Current mayor Colin Manning said: “I was greatly saddened to hear that Michael had passed away and my thoughts are obviously with his partner Christine and his family at this time.
“I know that, as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, he touched the lives of many people in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. He will be sorely missed.”
Borough council leader Nick Daubney added: “Michael was a well-known figure within the community having served as a councillor for many years, as well as being a former Mayor and Deputy Mayor – a role he enjoyed immensely and one he felt gave him the opportunity to put something back into the community which had been his home all his life.”
Born in 1937, just 50 yards from where the borough council’s offices now stand in Chapel Street, Lynn, Mr Langwade was educated at what is now the King’s Lynn Academy before joining the RAF to complete his national service.
Having begun his employment career in retail, he progressed into personnel management, where he specialised in training and safety work.
A member of the King’s Lynn Choir, he was also a professionally trained singer, an accomplished swimmer and a former member of the British Long Distance Swimming Association.
Mr Langwade was first elected to the borough council in 1991, representing the Gaywood North ward, but lost the seat four years later.
He was then re-elected in 2003, and remained a councillor until May of this year. He also served as a county councillor for four years between 2009 and 2013.
Although he spent most of his political career in Conservative colours, he left the party’s borough group in November 2013, initially sitting as an independent before joining UKIP last December.
Former borough mayor Michael Pitcher, who was also a member of the UKIP group, said he had known Mr Langwade for almost 60 years, describing him as a “very astute man.”
He said: “He was a well respected man, a very honest man and he always had the best interest of the people of the borough at heart.
“He was a man of principles and he stuck to his principles, even if it meant everybody didn’t agree with him.”