A FORMER council leader of 15 years has sadly died.

Tributes have been paid to Terry Cutmore, who served as Rochford District Council leader from 2004 to 2019.

In a statement on the council's Twitter feed they said: "It is with the greatest regret that Rochford District Council have to announce the passing of our Vice Chairman and Ward Councillor for Hockley and Ashingdon, Councillor Terry Cutmore."

Mr Cutmore had served as a Conservative councillor for Hockley and Ashingdon since 1999, and was the vice chairman of the council since May last year when he stepped down as leader at the age of 66.

The Rayleigh and Wickford Labour Party have paid tribute to Mr Cutmore.

They said: "We are truly sorry to hear the news of the passing of Rochford District Council Vice Chair and Hockley & Ashingdon Councillor Terry Cutmore. Sending sincere condolences to his family and friends from Rayleigh & Wickford Labour Party."

Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge has also paid tribute to Mr Cutmore.