TRIBUTES have been paid to long-serving councillor and former mayor of Christchurch Colin Bungey who has died.
Cllr Bungey served on Christchurch Borough Council as an independent for 36 years and was made an honorary freeman.
He was first elected to the borough council in 1983, and after the authority was disbanded won a seat on the newly formed BCP Council last year, also as an independent.
The news of his passing was confirmed by BCP Council, which said it did not know the cause of death.
Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council said: “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Cllr Colin Bungey.
“At the time of writing we do not know the details or cause of death and we would ask that the privacy of his family is respected at this time.
“We will provide more information when we have it and, of course, invite his colleagues to share their memories of Colin who had served his community in Christchurch for close to 40 years as an elected member of various councils.”
She added: “This is incredibly sad news and I have sent my personal condolences to his wife Sue and his daughter Debbie via our colleagues in Christchurch who are in touch with them at this difficult time.”
Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Lesley Dedman, said: “We have a lost a wonderful, decent, honourable man and a great servant to Christchurch for many decades.
“With Colin it was first and last about public service, not politics. Our thoughts are with his family, especially his wife Sue who is the town’s deputy mayor.”
Graham Farrant, BCP Council chief executive, said: “We would like to pass our sincere condolences on to Colin’s family and friends.
“All the officers who knew Colin had immense respect for him as a councillor and as a champion for his local community in Christchurch.
“He was a strong but fair chairman of the council’s standards committee and I am grateful that I got to know him during the first year of this new council.”