TRIBUTES have been paid to the mayor of Ferndown who has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 54.

Steve Lugg, who also represented the town on East Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council, has been described as a “tireless campaigner” for the town who worked with “huge dedication and commitment”.

He grew up in Sherborne, Dorset before joining the Household Cavalry at 16.

After leaving the army at 40, his first job was running the adult and Community budget at Bournemouth Social Services before becoming chief executive of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils in 2005.

He was also a member of the Royal Household as a yeoman of the guard of the Queen’s bodyguard.

Steve’s wife, Cllr Cathy Lugg, said: “The family have been deeply touched by the love and support Steve received before he passed away.

“Steve was so proud of Ferndown and its community and campaigned tirelessly for its causes.

“He had a highly developed sense of duty and had a special skill at motivating those around him to do more for the community.

“He was a loving family man and we will miss him dearly”.

Steve was involved in a host of organisations event in Ferndown having been chairman of East Dorset Mencap, a governor at Ferndown Upper School, a trustee at the Barrington Centre, and president of the Ferndown Royal British Legion up until his death.

Steve also had a passion for live music, founding Live: Ferndown in 2013.

Cllr Lugg first joined Ferndown Town Council in October 2008 and held the position of deputy mayor three times before being elected as its 36th town mayor in May.

In 2011 he was made a district councillor, serving as its chairman in 2015/16, and in 2016 was elected to represent Ferndown on Dorset County Council.

Ferndown town clerk, Vanessa Ricketts, said: “This is a sad day for Ferndown.

“Steve served his town and council for 10 years with huge dedication and commitment.

“He leaves a great legacy and Ferndown will miss him dearly.

“Despite illness, he continued his mayoral duties for as long as he could with huge strength and determination.

“On behalf of the council and its staff, I extend my very deepest condolences to his wife, Cllr Cathy Lugg, and their children.”

Cllr Toni Coombs, chairman of East Dorset District Council, said: "It is with great sadness that we received the news of the death of Cllr Steve Lugg this morning.

“Our thoughts go out to Cllr Cathy Lugg and their family at this very tragic time.

"Steve, who has represented Ferndown central since 2011 and was chairman of the council in 2015/16, will be sorely missed by fellow councillors and staff at East Dorset District Council.”

Cllr Hilary Cox, chairman of Dorset County Council, said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Cllr Lugg’s death.

"He will be missed as a valuable member of the council.

"Our thoughts and prayers go to his family at this time.”

Cllr Rebecca Knox, leader of Dorset County Council, said: “Although Cllr Lugg only joined the council in 2017, he made great progress in promoting children in care, fostering and corporate parenting, an area of our work that he had a keen personal interest in.

"We will miss his energy and service to the council.”