Tributes have been paid to a ‘charming and thoughtful’ Torridge District Councillor and who died yesterday (Wednesday).

Sam Robinson was elected to TDC on four occassions: as a Conservative ward member for Northam between 2006 and 2011 and as a UKIP Ward Member for Bideford East between 2014 and 2018.

He held a variety of posts within the council, and was also a serving Bideford and past county councillor, and was passionate about serving his wards.

Councillor Dermot McGeough, Mayor of Bideford, said: “Goodbye dear friend.

“May God bless you as you did us with your time here on this earth.

“You will be sadly missed but always remembered by your fellow councillors and constituents.”

Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of TDC, said she was ‘immensly sad’ to hear the news.

Sam Robinson (right) at the official opening of the Alverdiscott Community Hall.Sam Robinson (right) at the official opening of the Alverdiscott Community Hall.

“He was a charming, thoughtful and hugely gifted councillor who was always more than ready to help anyone in any way he could,” she said.

“I will miss him personally and professionally. My condolences to Sam’s wife and family.”

Jenny Wallace, head of paid services at Torridge, said: “Sam put so much into his role as a councillor at Torridge, always ready to speak out on those local issues which mattered so much to him.

“The range and depth of his knowledge was amazing, but most of all I will remember him for the courteous and gentle soul he was.

“Deepest condolences to his wife and family at this difficult time.”

Councillor John Himan, chairman of TDC, said he would miss his ‘close colleague’.

Londonderry householders Paddy Elkin and Joyce Comfort view the new salt bin with Cllr Sam Robinson (right).Londonderry householders Paddy Elkin and Joyce Comfort view the new salt bin with Cllr Sam Robinson (right).

“His quiet charming Irish voice, his in-depth knowledge of the subject he was speaking about and his mischievous smile will always be remembered,” he added.

Councillor David Hurley, deputy leader of TDC, said: “From the first time I met him he has always been courteous and even though our opinions didn’t always coincide, we always parted as friends, with mutual respect for each other’s views.

“Always a gentleman I shall certainly miss his wise council. My thoughts and condolences are with his wife and family.”

Councillor Mervyn Langmead, ward member for Bideford East, said “I have worked with Sam for almost the last seven years as a district and town councillor for the Bideford East Ward; we didn’t all ways see eye to eye but he respected your point of view.

“We worked on several different committees but mainly on plans. He was a hive of knowledge and he will be greatly missed.”

Councillor Margaret Brown, ward member for Torrington, said: “I knew Sam well. He was a fountain of knowledge and a true gentleman and it was always a pleasure to be in his company.

“He was very active in Great Torrington Parish Church and will be missed by all those who knew him in this community.”

Councillor Rose Lock, ward member for Three Moors said: “I joined TDC the same time as Sam and we would have served 12 years together come next May.

“It was a pleasure to have worked with him and he was always a gentleman.

“I learnt a lot from him and he will be missed by all at Torridge and his ward. My condolences to his wife and family.”

Councillor Alison Boyle, ward member for Kenwith, said: “I always found Sam to be a perfect gentleman and considerate.

“His knowledge of the world was remarkable and the story of his past involvement allied with foreign services was incredibly inspiring.

“My condolences to his family. The world has lost a good man.”

The flag at Riverbank House will be flying at half-mast in respect.