Tributes have been paid to a popular councillor who died after struggling with an illness.

Rob Orchard died peacefully at Lanercost House following a short illness on Friday October 2, at the age of 78.

He was a beloved father to Louise, Clare and Dave, brother of Reg and Bernard and a loving grandfather of many grandchildren.

He was described as a man of “true integrity” while serving as district councillor for Eden Council.

Mr Orchard was elected in a by-election in February 2018 for the Hartside ward, replacing his late wife Sheila who had passed away in November 2017.

During his time as a district councillor, he served on Eden Council’s scrutiny co-ordinating board and its accounts and governance committee.

He was also chairman of the budget scrutiny panel which studied the local authority’s 2019/20 and 2020/21 budgets.

A statement from Eden Council said the thoughts of all those at the council are with his two daughters, son, family, and friends.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, leader, said: “I am sorry to hear the news.

“Rob Orchard has been an active and effective councillor.

“He and I dealt with a number of issues together and it was a pleasure to work with him.

“It’s a real pity that his time as a councillor has been so short.

“My heartfelt condolences to Rob and Sheila’s family and friends.”

Rob will be remembered as a loyal servant to the community and as a family man.

Councillor Debra Wicks, leader of the Conservative Group in Eden, said: “Rob will be sadly missed by all of us.

“He was a man of true integrity, understanding and kindness and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time. Rest in peace Rob.

"We will miss you.”

A memorial service is set to be held when circumstances allow.

Tributes can be paid online at