Michael Langwade.

Touching tributes have been paid to a former West Norfolk councillor and mayor who died on Monday.

Michael Langwade, 78, had suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and died after losing his fight against a severe strain of pneumonia.

His long-term partner, Christine Holding, said Mr Langwade was a “fair and honest man” who always had a smile on his face.

Mrs Holding said in his council role, Mr Langwade “always wanted to make sure the outcome was right for people”.

She said he wasn’t afraid to speak out if he felt something wasn’t right.

Mr Langwade was elected to West Norfolk Council in 1991 and he represented the Gaywood Ward for four years.

He was elected again in 2003 and 2007 and served as mayor during 2003/4 and deputy mayor in 2007/8.

Mrs Holding was mayoress alongside her partner and said it was an honour which he had loved.

Nick Daubney, leader of the borough council, paid tribute and said: “Michael was a well-known figure within the community having served as a councillor for many years, as well as being a former mayor and deputy mayor – a role he enjoyed immensely and one he felt gave him the opportunity to put something back into the community, which had been his home all his life.”

This was echoed by the borough’s current mayor, Colin Manning, who said: “I know that, as mayor and deputy mayor, he touched the lives of many people in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.”

He said Mr Langwade would be  “sorely missed”.

Mr Langwade was born in Lynn and attended what is now the King’s Lynn Academy in Gaywood.

As a youngster, he was a member of the scouts and of the local air training corps.

He also spent two years’ national service in the RAF.

Mr Langwade had a varied career which started in retail where he sold electrical goods, and progressed into management.

Later, he worked in personnel management where he specialised in training and safety work.

A professionally-trained singer, Mr Langwade was also an accomplished swimmer and a former member of the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

Mr Langwade, who lived at South Wootton Lane in Lynn, also leaves a son, Robert.

A funeral service will take place on Friday, July 31, at Lynn Minster at 1.30pm, followed by interment in Gayton Road Cemetery.