Warm tributes have been paid to a long serving councillor who sadly passed away after battling Covid-19.

Castle Point Councillor Brian Wood passed away on Monday afternoon aged 78, leaving behind his wife Anne and their son Stephen.

Councillors have paid tribute to a “loving father and family man” who “always stood up for his residents”.

Councillor Wood was first elected to Castle Point Borough Council in 2004 where he was a Ward councillor for St George’s Ward.

Mr Wood was a former Mayor of Castle Point between 2017 and 2018.

The council have offered their sincere condolences to his wife, their son and family.

Leader of the council Norman Smith said: “This is really sad news. Brian was a great councillor who absolutely loved his residents and was a superb Mayor.”

Councillor Clive Walter, his fellow Ward councillor said: “When Brian was first elected to St.George’s Ward, he fitted in straight away with the late Jackie Govier and I. We worked very well as a team.

“The teamwork between Brian and I continued when he became Mayor and I was his deputy and his advice and encouragement continued during my Mayoral year.

“His long experience as both a borough and county councillor was valuable and he set very high professional standards.

“He was a loving father and family man. He was very much a man of his word. “He was straight, honourable and professional.

“He will certainly be very missed by me and the rest of St. George’s Ward.”

Councillor Steven Cole, his other fellow Ward councillor said: “I’ve known Brian for some 10 years now. He was a peoples man. He never backed down from his beliefs.

“He had a great deal of knowledge, especially being a former county councillor. He was also a freemason as well and he raised thousands upon thousands of pounds. He loved his freemasonry.

“He was someone that I looked up to.”

Councillor Jeffrey Stanley said: “I’ve known Brian since he joined the council in 2004. He was always a great councillor. He was very interested in his residents concerns and he treated the job very seriously.

“With his passing, the council and the residents are going to miss him. I’m very sorry to hear the news.”

Councillor Martin Tucker said: “Brian did his job as a councillor with no fear of anyone and stood up for his residents and what he thought was right.”