Councillors have been paying their respects following the death of Halstead councillor Joe Pike.
One of the longest serving councillors on Essex County Council, Cllr Pike gave 39 years to public service.
First elected to ECC on 5 May 1977 for the division of Benfleet he served in this seat until 1985 when he moved from the area. He returned in1989 as councillor for his new home area of Halstead, where he served until his death.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said:
“Joe always had a kind word for all members, whatever our political parties, but especially for younger councillors who were new to county hall. You see, Joe was the kind of man that believed that the role of a County Councillor was one to be respected but that respect was to be earned, not automatic.
He treated everyone as equals and even when he was making a political point - it was always done with courtesy.
“Joe was an outstanding Chairman and he brought his gentle manner to the job, extending his warm publican hospitality to the whole county. He loved the job and the people of Essex loved him.
He was genuinely honoured to have been awarded the MBE in 2012 for services to local government and his reaction at the time - in his words:-
“I have been a councillor for many years and have always done it for my devotion to people and to try and do my best for the people I represent. I am not looking for praise, but it’s lovely when you get it.”