TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving former Chester City and Cheshire West and Chester Councillor, who has died at the age of 76.

Brian Crowe, who had served as a councillor for over a quarter of a century, was widely respected among his political allies and opponents and has been described as "a giant of the community".

He served as Lord Mayor of Chester from 2002-2003 and was the first Chairman of the new Cheshire West and Chester Council from 2008.

Brian stood down from the council in 2019. Upon his retirement, his former colleagues elected him honorary Alderman of Cheshire West & Chester in recognition of his long, distinguished record of service.

Brian was also a longstanding and active member of Mollington Parish Council, continuing to serve after standing down from the borough council in 2019.

Cllr Margaret Parker, leader of the Conservative Group on Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Brian was a giant of his local community and Chester politics for over 25 years. His residents always knew they could trust him to stand up for their best interests and all of us who served with him knew we could depend upon his straight-talking advice.

“Like so many, I thought Brian was indestructible and his untimely death has come as a great shock. Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with his family at this very sad time.”

Cllr Neil Sullivan, chairman of the City of Chester Conservative Association, said: “Brian was an inspiration to many, including myself, wishing to serve as councillors in their community.

"He was passionate about the heritage of Chester and would work with other parties to the benefit of Chester and the borough. A devoted family man, he will be fondly remembered as a towering figure in Chester’s recent history.”

Cllr Simon Eardley, who succeeded Brian as councillor for Saughall and Mollington Ward, paid tribute to his predecessor: "Since taking over from Brian as CWaC councillor for the Saughall and Mollington Ward in 2019, I have been ever conscious of the big shoes I've been trying to fill!

"Brian was a dedicated public servant with a passion for the villages under his care, not least his love for and practical commitment to Mollington where he lived.

“As the past holder of high civic office, his service extended to the city of Chester and the borough as a whole together with his involvement across different organisations.

"To me personally, he was unfailingly generous with his time, his knowledge and his support as both a mentor and dear friend. Like so many, I will miss him hugely."

Brian is survived by his wife, Rosie, their children and grandchildren.

Speaking at the time he stood down as a borough councillor, Brian said: "It has been a huge privilege to represent the fantastic villages that make up this community and to do my best on local and borough wide issues as they have arisen over the years.

"To have been elected as The Lord Mayor of the City of Chester in 2002 was such a great honour but then to have been elected as Chairman of the new Cheshire West and Chester Local Authority in 2008 was such an enormous privilege as well.

“I am so very grateful for the support and help you have all given me over the years, without which frankly I would never have been able to cope."