Tributes have been paid to a long-serving Workington councillor who sadly passed away at the weekend.

Councillor Joe Holliday’s contributions to the community were said to be invaluable with his career in local government beginning 60 years ago.

After retirement from Cumbria County Council, he continued to work and volunteer in the community as a parish clerk, school governor and as a councillor for Workington Town Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

The mayor of Workington, councillor Janet King, said: “Joe was a really decent and honest man – a true gentleman. I feel privileged to have known and worked with him and the world is a poorer place without him.

"He was totally dedicated to the public that he served and has so much experience and knowledge of local government. Although he was ill for some time, he still put his council roles first. His wife, Dorothy, was a great support for him and I send my sincerest sympathy to her and his family.”

Mr Holliday was elected to Allerdale as a Labour member for St Johns Ward, Workington, in May 2007, and later became an Independent councillor continuing to serve in St Johns. He was mayor of Allerdale for 2011 and 2012. Mr Holliday had also been a county councillor since 2001.

Councillor Mike Johnson, deputy leader of Allerdale Council, paid tribute to Mr Holliday, saying: “Joe was a dedicated councillor who worked hard for his community over many, many years of service. He was a real asset to his council and to the residents he represented in St Johns ward in Workington and his contributions will be sorely missed by us all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Councillor Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “I was very sorry to hear about the loss of Joe. Throughout his time as a councillor, he never wavered from his political values and was always a dedicated champion of his community. He will be greatly missed by his many friends on all sides of the county council.”

Councillor Marjorie Rae, county councillor for Harrington, said: “I shall miss Joe, he was a passionate local councillor and cared deeply about his community. I was very proud to sit alongside him on the Independent benches, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.”