HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to Colin Bungey, one of the area’s longest serving and most respected councillors, who has died suddenly.

Cllr Bungey, of Christchurch, passed away at home during Wednesday night.

The Honorary Freeman served on Christchurch Council as an independent councillor for an unbroken 36 years before being elected to BCP Council last May.

His wife Sue is the deputy mayor of Christchurch.

Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council said: “It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Cllr Colin Bungey.

“At the time of writing we do not know the details or cause of death and we would ask that the privacy of his family is respected at this time. We will provide more information when we have it and, of course, invite his colleagues to share their memories of Colin, who served his community in Christchurch for close to 40 years as an elected member of various councils.

“This is incredibly sad news and I have sent my personal condolences to his wife Sue and his daughter Debbie via our colleagues in Christchurch who are in touch with them at this difficult time.”

Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Lesley Dedman said: “We have a lost a wonderful, decent, honourable man and a great servant to Christchurch for many decades.

“He was a man of principle, unfailingly courteous, listened to everybody and always did his best to help and to stand up for Christchurch.

“With Colin it was first and last about public service, not politics. Our thoughts are with his family, especially his wife Sue who is the town’s deputy mayor.”

Colin Bungey JP was first elected to Christchurch Borough Council on 5 May 1983 and was re-elected in every subsequent election representing the constituents of the Jumpers ward who valued his dedication and hard work.

He was Mayor of Christchurch Borough Council twice and was recognised for his eminent services to the Borough of Christchurch with the title of Honorary Freeman, something he was immensely proud of.

In May 2019 he was elected to BCP and became Chairman of the Standards Committee, actively promoting and enhancing ethical conduct of all elected councillors.