FLAGS have been flying at half mast at Hampshire County Council’s Winchester headquarters following the death of John West.

Cllr West, 73, was elected to the county council in 1997 and represented Petersfield Butser.

He died on Wednesday January 1 and leaves a wife Bridget, a son and daughter, and grandchildren.

In his professional life, he was a chartered engineer, working in local government including at Devon, Lancashire and Hampshire county councils, and as principal engineer at East Hampshire District Council. He retired in 1993.

On the council, he served on the Children and Young People Select Committee, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority and Regulatory Committee.

He also represented the council on a number of other external bodies including the Regional, and Hampshire and IOW Flood Defence Committees, River Wey Trust Management Committee and Southern Hampshire Road Safety Council.

County council chairman, Cllr Ken Thornber paid tribute: “John West was a valued colleague and served on the council for 16 years, and in that time he served as a member of the first Cabinet of Hampshire County Council with responsibility for environmental matters, in which capacity he served for three years. He also served as vice chairman in 2004 and chairman in 2005. He brought a combination of humour and considerable insight, whatever his role was.

“John was an assiduous Member and pursued constituents’ issues with vigour. The County Council today is poorer for his passing, and he will always be remembered with affection.”

Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "I am truly saddened by the loss of Cllr John West, who worked hard, with loyalty and dignity, to serve his local community throughout the years.

“His wisdom, and support for the County Council and to the residents of Petersfield whom he represented, will be greatly missed. We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to his wife Bridget and his family at this very sad time.”