FRIENDS and colleagues have paid tribute to Councillor John Sedgwick, who died on Wednesday after a long battle against illness.

Coun Sedgwick, 74, was elected to represent the Thickley ward on Sedgefield Borough Council in a 1998 by-election and re-elected the following year.

A past chairman of Shildon Town Council and the chairman of the town's area forum, Coun Sedgwick also served on committees and was a former treasurer of Shildon Carnival.

Councillor Brian Stephens, leader of Sedgefield Borough Council and a Thickley ward colleague, said: "He was a hard-working councillor for the people of the Thickley ward and Shildon who he represented diligently."

A minute's silence was observed in memory of Coun Sedgwick at yesterday's Sedgefield Borough Council executive committee meeting.

A popular figure in his home town of Shildon, Coun Sedgwick leaves a wife, Mary, and two children