THE family of a Southend Labour councillor who has died have thanked people for tributes and support.

Southend Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane died on Sunday.

A spokesman for the family said: “Petrina, Taze, Eilise, Michaela, Loren, Hope and Florence would like to thank you for the support given at this difficult time. We are overwhelmed with the kind messages and tributes that have been sent.

“Our loving father was many things to many people, but to us he was our dad.

“In his words ‘I have tried my best to always do good, sometimes I succeeded’.”

Mr Ware-Lane, 59, represented Milton ward on Southend Council from 2012.

As a mark of respect, council flags at the Civic Centre in Southend were lowered to half-mast.

A number of groups and parties have taken to social media to pay tribute to Mr Ware-Lane also served as a parliamentary candidate in Castle Point and Rochford and Southend East.

A spokesman for Southend Labour said: “Rest in peace, comrade. Julian was a passionate and dedicated citizen of Southend.

“His efforts in service of his constituents in Milton ward are acknowledged and saluted by all, whether they agreed with his politics or not, and his shoes will not easily be filled.

“All of us at Southend Labour will miss Julian greatly, and we will move forward in his memory, to make Southend the better place for everyone that he wanted it to be and knew that it could be.”

The Save Southend NHS campaign group also paid tribute to the councillor.

A spokesman posted: “Southend lost a great councillor and NHS champion. Rest in peace Julian Ware-Lane and sending love and thoughts to his family. Gone but not forgotten.”

Southend Council leader John Lamb said: “This is a very sad day for Southend and all our thoughts are with Julian’s family and friends at this sad time.

“There can be no doubt Julian was absolutely passionate about the whole borough and also his beloved Milton ward.

“He was totally committed to doing the right thing for people.”