TRIBUTES have been paid to former Christchurch and Dorset councillor David Fox, who notched up decades of public service.

Mr Fox was an active member of the Conservative party for most of his life and served on Dorset County Council, Christchurch Borough Council and the Dorset Fire Authority.

Following his death, at the age of 79, his colleagues have paid tribute to him as a kind and honest man.

Cllr Spencer Flower, leader of Dorset County Council, said: “This is a sad loss. David had a very successful and fulfilling life in local government. He was a man of honesty and integrity in everything he did, and always put the interests of the people he served first - both in Christchurch and across the wider Dorset.

“I will always remember the kindness he showed me when I first became a county councillor back in 2005. He took me under his wing and made sure I was fully up to speed with how everything worked. He was very generous with his time, and that was typical of the man.”

Mr Fox represented St Catherine’s and Hurn on Christchurch Borough Council from 1983 to 2011 and served as Mayor in 1987/88 and in 2006/7. He was made an Honorary Freeman of Christchurch in 2008.

He was a Dorset County Councillor from 1975 to 2013 and was council leader from 2001/02. He was awarded the OBE for political and public services in the New Years Honours list 1993 and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset in October 1997.

He was also a former Chairman of Dorset Fire Authority and former vice chairman of the Local Government Association Fire Executive.

Mr Fox, who had been in poor health, leaves his wife Norma and two sons Quillon and Tavis. Tavis is the current Christchurch councillor for St Catherine’s and Hurn.

Judy Jamieson, Conservative agent in Christchurch, said: “He held many offices in the Christchurch and East Dorset Association and was until recently our President and indeed Chairman. During all this his love of Conservative Clubs was paramount and he was still attending Christchurch Club’s Committee meetings until quite recently.

“I know I speak for many when I say his wisdom on many matters will be greatly missed.”