TRIBUTES have been paid to Cllr David Spender, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer aged 56.

He had represented Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm on Winchester City Council since winning a 2005 by-election.

Replacing Lib Dem colleague Robin Darbyshire, who resigned, he won the seat again in 2008 and increased his majority from 269 to 754.

Born in Barking, he was orphaned at the age of four and was brought up by his grandmother.

After leaving university, he became a Liberal councillor in Barking and Dagenham and later moved to Winchester.

He lived in Old Kennels Lane, Oliver’s Battery, and campaigned for the Lib Dems before joining the city council.

His party colleague, Cllr Brian Collin, represented the same ward alongside him for five years.

He said: “Whenever David made remarks or a speech at the council, everyone always listened. He spoke with wisdom, sympathy and humour.”

He added: “He was a respected member of several council committees and was never really ‘off-duty’. He was always available to constituents.”

Cllr Spender’s death will trigger a by-election, but Winchester City Council is yet to set a date as a mark of respect.

A council spokeswoman said it would not be held until December at the earliest.

When it takes place, the Lib Dems will have to defend their slender one-seat lead over the Tories to keep control of the council.

They managed to do so in St Paul’s Ward last month (October) after former Lib Dem councillor Karen Barratt resigned.

Away from local politics, Cllr Spender ran his own business as a sales agent for specialist software firms.

He was also a member of the Badger Farm Wargamers’ club, a keen stamp collector, and a member of the Wesley Methodist Church.

Cllr Spender died on Tuesday, October 19 and is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their three children, Geoffrey, Caroline and Eleanor.

There will be a memorial service at Winchester Cathedral on Saturday, December 4 at 2pm.

All are welcome, but must register in advance by emailing