TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘well-loved’ and ‘respected’ former councillor who was a ‘joy to be with’.

Paul Turner, a retired police officer who went on to serve as the representative for the Gosforth ward on Cumbria County Council, passed away suddenly on Tuesday.

He was a well-known police officer in the Whitehaven and Workington area for around 30 years, before continuing his public duties as a Conservative councillor from 2017 until earlier this year.

Mr Turner was president of the Seascale and Sellafield branch of the Royal British Legion and served as chairman of the West Cumbria Motorcycle Action Group. He was also a trustee of the Shackles Off youth group.

News and Star: Paul Turner at the Annual Motorcycle Action Group Easter Egg RunPaul Turner at the Annual Motorcycle Action Group Easter Egg Run (Image: Newsquest)

Andy Pratt, chairman of the Whitehaven and Workington Conservative Association, said:  “Paul was a well-known and highly respected Cumbria County Councillor, and a friend to many in our Association.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Louise and family at this desperately sad time.”

David Moore, a Conservative member who represents Gosforth on Cumberland Council, said: “I worked alongside Paul – he was the county councillor for the ward and I was the district councillor.

“It was a pleasure working with such a hard-working, dedicated person. Paul always had time for people, time to commit to the role. That was his key focus.

“He always delivered on the promises he made. He was still connected with our community as a trustee of Shackles Off. He was still actively involved in the community.

“You could see him going round the village on his bike most days, keeping an eye on things. He was still sending me emails to remind me of things.

“He was one of those people you never hear a bad word about. Even in the political arena, he was respected by all parties.”

News and Star: Paul Turner pictured in 2009Paul Turner pictured in 2009 (Image: Newsquest)

Jeff Hailes, a Conservative member and former Copeland councillor, said: “I worked with him closely with the Conservatives. He was always supportive with campaigns. He was well-loved and respected by the community.

“Every time we went to any functions, I always noticed he was well-respected in the community around the Gosforth area.

“When he finished with the police, he was still working hard in the community and wanted to do good. He’s done a lot with his life.”

Graham Roberts, who served alongside Mr Turner as a Conservative on Cumbria County Council, said: “He did a wonderful job for Gosforth. He was a joy to be with. He was full of fun.

“We had some very happy times in the council chamber. I am so deeply sorry. He was wonderful. What a great loss to the community.”