TRIBUTES have been paid to Malvern Hills District Council’s only alderman and a former leader after he passed away last week.

Alderman Reg Farmer died last Thursday morning at the age of 88.

He spent 14 years on Malvern Hills District Council, having first been elected in 1997. Mr Farmer served twice as council chairman, in 1999/2000 and 2009/10, and was also leader from 2000 to 2003.

He began his involvement with local government in 1961 with Lindridge Parish Council, and over the next five decades worked tirelessly for his community, including playing a key role in merging Leominster District Council with Malvern Hills District Council.

After leaving the council in 2011, Mr Farmer was recognised for his service by his former colleagues by being made Malvern Hills District Council’s first, and so far only, honorary alderman. The title is one of the highest civic honours the council can bestow and is given to former councillors for eminent services to the authority.

Cllr Phil Grove, who nominated Mr Farmer for the title, said: “Reg took me under his wing when I first became involved in politics 18 years ago and he was not just a political colleague but a very good friend. He was someone who was always willing to give me the benefit of the wealth of his 50 years of experience as a councillor.

“We had many other topics of mutual interest including cricket, rural affairs and of course farming. I held Reg in the highest of regards and I will miss his knowledge, his experience and most of all, I will miss terribly a good and close friend.”

His daughter Serena Croad said: "Dad has always been proud of his service to the many communities he has been involved in. In more recent years, Dad has spoken fondly of his time at the Malvern Hills District Council and reflected upon the families he has supported. He was also devoted to his own family, we are grateful for the times we shared with Dad and will miss him dearly.”

Alderman Farmer leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His wife Gill, also a former Malvern Hills councillor, passed away in 2015.

Alderman Farmer’s service takes place on Tuesday, August 15, at St Mary’s Church, Tenbury Wells at 2pm.