Tributes have been paid to former Fylde Council leader David Eaves, who has died of cancer.
Mr Eaves, who was in his seventies, resigned from the council in April for health reasons.
He was first elected to Fylde in 2007 following a long senior managerial career at Blackpool Transport, quickly became a Cabinet member and succeeded John Coombes as leader in 2010.
Coun Sue Fazackerley, who followed Mr Eaves as leader, said: “David’s business acumen and managerial skills were put to good use during his period as leader and Fylde Council flourished with him at the helm.
“He had a particular interest in the refurbishment of the Town Hall, which councillors had been discussing for many years. He ‘took the bull by the horns’ and went for the option to sell certain council-owned properties and refurbish the current building, including the new council chamber, which opened earlier this year.
“David was popular with both the members of his party and with members of the opposition groups and he was known for his even-handedness and sense of fair play.
“At council, he will be missed for both his ability and his strong leadership and for the friendship he offered to his colleagues who held him in great affection.”
Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield added: “Everyone at the council was saddened by the news that Coun Eaves had passed away.
“He was an exceptional councillor as well as leader of the council who always had time for everyone.
“The employees valued his contribution because he appreciated and respected the work they do.
“During his time as leader he made significant progress taking the council into the 21st century leading a transformation programme that has put the council in a strong financial position for the benefit of the whole borough.
“He is a loss to the council, the community and those who know him personally.”
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “David was a real gentleman I feel honoured to have known.
“He was a fantastic politician – no-nonsense, down to earth and as humble as can be.
“The residents of Ansdell have lost a wonderful champion for their ward who campaigned long and hard to keep the area in the spotlight at Fylde Council. He will be sadly missed, and my thoughts are with his family.”
Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Despite our politics being very different, David and I always got along very well.
“He was a superb advocate for the people of Fylde, had a great sense of humour, and was very keen that we all worked together across the Fylde coast.
As a former Blackpool Transport MD, he knew the town incredibly well, and was a great support to me when I first became leader of the Council in 2011.
“I have been in touch with his family to pass on my condolences, and those of the people of Blackpool.”
Mr Eaves leaves a wife, Linda, a son, a daughter and a step-daughter.
His funeral will be at the White Church, Fairhaven on Monday, June 18 at 10.30am, followed by a cremation service at Lytham Park at 11.30am, to which all are welcome.
Prior to the service at the White Church, the funeral cortege will drive past the Town Hall at St Annes for any members of staff to pay their respects and a wake will be held at Blackpool Cricket Club, where David and Linda first met.