TRIBUTES have been paid to an accountant who oversaw a council’s response to the foot-and-mouth crisis and a flooding emergency before spending nearly a decade working for a charity.

Family, friends and former colleagues say they will remember Eddie Scrivens as an honest and much-loved man after he died at the age of 63 last month.

He was Wear Valley District Council’s treasurer from 1991 until 2001, and in the months before his retirement, the authority appointed him acting chief executive.

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Gary Ridley, assistant chief officer at Durham Police, worked with Mr Scrivens from 1997 and eventually succeeded him as the authority’s chief finance officer.

He said: “What started as a professional relationship soon became a real friendship.

“I can genuinely say that he will be missed as he was the most gentle, kind and considerate man I met in my life.

“He was exceptionally hard working and was totally dedicated to the people of Wear Valley.”

Mr Scrivens was acting chief executive during the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis and was also in charge when dozens of homes in West Auckland were devastated by floods.

He oversaw the council’s response to both emergencies and ensured finance was in place to help cope.

Mr Ridley said: “It was an extremely difficult time for everyone involved but Eddie proved to be good leader and was instrumental in the council’s response.”

After retirement, Mr Scrivens spent nine years volunteering to do the accounts at 2D Voluntary and Community Support in Crook and also running wood turning lessons.

Chief executive officer of 2D Michele (CORRECT) Armstrong said: “He was a lovely man, so generous with his time and such a big help to me and 2D.”

He was married to Shirley for 42 years and they had two sons, Mark and Paul, and five grandchildren.

He was born in Tow Law but moved to Frosterley aged ten before later settling in Wolsingham.

In his early 20's Mr Scrivens qualified as an accountant and in his exam achieved the highest score in the country, although his son Mark said he would not have shouted about it.

He said: “He was a very modest man and treated everybody the same.”

“He was the most honest person I know and very conscientious.”

Away from the office Mr Scrivens was a keen carpenter and his son said he could turn his hand to any craft.

“He was meticulous, a real perfectionist in everything he did.”