SADDENED colleagues and officials have paid tribute to a senior Selby councillor who has died suddenly.

Conservative councillor David Fagan, who represented Selby West and chaired the council’s economy board, leaves a widow, Mary.

He had been a district councillor for the past four years, representing the authority on the Selby Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Selby Area Learning Partnership, but colleagues said he had been unwell and unable to attend meetings in recent months after suffering a stroke.

Council chief executive Martin Connor said everyone was “extremely saddened” to hear of his passing. He said: “Coun Fagan had been a councillor with us since 2007 and over the past four years contributed much to the work of the authority; most recently in his role as chair of the council’s economy board. He had been ill for several months, and I can only imagine how difficult this has been for family and friends. My thoughts are with them.”

Council leader Mark Crane said: “I have personally known David for 15 or 16 years, and worked closely with him for the last four years as a councillor. “I have always found him to be a very engaging person with real ability, who very much wanted the best for Selby and those he represented.”

He said since Coun Fagan had fallen ill six months ago, life had been very difficult for him and his wife Mary. “My thoughts and prayers go out to her.” He said Coun Fagan, an active member of the Roman Catholic Church, had been retired, but previously worked for Nestlé Rowntree in York for many years.

Council deputy leader Brian Percival said: “His intellect will be sorely missed He had a dry sense of humour, but was an exceptionally competent person.”

Mr Fagan was thought to be in his late sixties.