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Tributes pour in for ‘Mr East-the-Water’

PUBLISHED: 13:48 06 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 March 2014

Tributes have been pouring in for former Torridge councillor Brian Lacey.

Tributes have been pouring in for former Torridge councillor Brian Lacey.

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Former Torridge District Councillor Brian Lacey dies after short battle with cancer.

TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a former Torridge District Councillor who was known as ‘Mr East-the-Water’.

Brian Lacey passed away after a short battle with cancer with his wife Sharon by his side. He leaves behind his two children and three grandchildren.

He was an elected ward member for East-the-Water and an active member of both the licensing and overview and scrutiny committees between 2007 and 2011.

Councillors have released a number of tributes towards their former colleague and passed their condolences on to his family.

“Brian always appeared so passionate about being a councillor and working for his community, he always had a smile and was willing to listen to others,” said Cllr Philip Collins, leader of Torridge.

“I was personally disappointed when he did not stand again, but understood he was not in the best of health. He was respected by all councillors that served alongside him.”

Cllr Mervyn Langmead attended the same school as Brian and said: “I have known Brian for many years. He worked tirelessly for the people of East the Water.

“When he decided to retire from the council he spoke to me and suggested I became a councillor; but Brian being Brian kept his pulse on the people of East the Water.

“He was the best councillor East the Water ever had, I only hope I can be half as good. RIP Brian - a friend and colleague.”

Cllr Margaret Brown added: “My first contact with Brian was when he wished to start a Residents Association in East the Water.

“He was passionate in working through the problems of local residents and was well respected for his work and success in solving many of them.”

Cllr Tony Inch said Brian always had a smile on his face: “No one had a bad word to say about him, he will missed very much by all who knew him.”

Cllr Jane Whittaker said that Brian was a ‘genuinely lovely man’ who was ‘quiet and caring’.

She said: “Absolutely committed to the community of East the Water and very proud of his place in it.

“He always had time for people. I’ve known him for many years and have fond memories which go back well over two decades.”

Cllr Barry Parsons said Brian would be fondly remembered by all councillors.

“ He always made everyone feel welcome and was a real gent, respectful towards others and passionate about looking after his community,” he said.

“Brian was a wonderful advocate for Torridge and for working together. He will be most fondly remembered by all of us.”

Cllr David Lausen added: “I was very sad to hear of Brian’s death. He was a true independent who worked hard for his community.”

Cllr Roger Tisdale said he was sad Brian had passed away at such an early age.

He said: “We became good friends during the four years that we were councillors together at TDC where he worked hard for the people of Bideford.”

Cllr Chris Leather added: “Brian was a very good councillor, who knew, and spoke his own mind. He was an excellent representative for East the Water, and spoke up on many occasions in defence of his ward.

“I was sorry when he felt, through poor health, he could no longer remain a Torridge Councillor. It was, and is, a great loss for Bideford.

“There are few with the integrity of Brian, and it is indeed sad news, and my thoughts are with his family.”

The funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 13 at St Mary’s Church in Bideford at 11am followed by a cremation.

There will be family flowers only but donations are welcome for the Chemotherapy Appeal and North Devon Hospice.

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