Tributes have been paid to a dedicated Lancashire county councillor who has died.
County Coun Mike Devaney, who represented Chorley Rural North, died yesterday at the age of 78.
A minute’s silence will be held at the full council meeting on Thursday.
Conservative County Coun Devaney, who lived in Chorley, was elected onto Lancashire County Council in 2009 and became chairman in 2013.
County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the Conservative group, said: “Mike was a valued colleague and friend. He was an excellent public servant who was dedicated to serving not only the residents in his division but also all the people of Lancashire.
“He will be sorely missed by all his colleagues on the county council. Our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy go out to his family who can be justly proud of Mike’s record of public service.”
County Coun Jenny Mein, Labour leader of the county council, said: “I’m very sad to hear of Mike’s passing and would like to offer my condolences to his friends and family.
“He was a dedicated county councillor, serving on a number of committees, and worked hard during his year as chairman to represent Lancashire and promote understanding of the county council’s work.”
County Coun Bill Winlow, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, said: “I am particularly troubled to hear of Mike’s death. I first got to know him in 2009 and immediately realised that he was an extraordinary individual who had much to offer Lancashire.
“He was an excellent chairman of council, both non-partisan and erudite, and I came to think of him as a friend. I mourn his passing and offer my condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed by all knew him.”
County Coun Gina Dowding, leader the council’s independent group, said: “I first got to know Mike when he was chairman of the county council.
“It wasn’t until the end of his year as chairman that I found out which party he represented, which I think is an indication of how fair and non-partisan he was.
“He always carried out his duties with a sparkle in his eye. He will be much missed in the council chamber. “
County Coun Mark Perks, who represents Chorley North, said: “He was a true councillor who really thought a lot about the work that he did for the community.”
County Coun Devaney was born in Preston and did an apprenticeship with British Gas.
He did national service before resuming his career.
He was previously a Chorley borough councillor, representing Clayton-le-Woods North.
He leaves his wife Harriet and son Ed.
Coun Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council leader, said: “I was very sorry to hear of the sad death of Mike. He’d been a member of Chorley Council for four years, working hard for his constituents and making an important contribution in the committees on which he served.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”
Coun Paul Leadbetter, leader of the Conservative group on Chorley Council, said: “It was devastating to hear the news about Mike. He was a loyal and valued member of the Conservative group at Chorley Council, held in great esteem and everyone had the utmost respect for him and his views on issues. It’s a very sad day, a great loss.
“My deepest condolences go out to his family.”