Tributes are being paid to a popular councillor who was a founder member of Chorley Borough Council.

Dennis Edgerley, who was a lifelong member of the Labour party and served residents for more than 40 years, died on Friday.

He held key roles in the organisation, including Leader of the Opposition, stepping down from the authority in 2014.

Cllr Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are shocked and saddened at the news of the sudden death of Dennis - a stalwart member of Chorley Labour Party and Chorley Council.

“Dennis was a lifelong member of the party who served residents for over 40 years as a councillor and among many other roles was Labour Group Leader and Deputy Council Leader.”

First elected in 1973, Dennis, 72, was a founder member of Chorley Borough Council following local government reorganisation in 1974. He had a two-year gap in serving as a councillor before standing from 1978 until 2014 when he stepped down as a councillor.

He was Mayor in 2001-2002 and served on many committees including:chair of Planning Committee in 1990 until 2001, deputy leader of the council from 1997 until 2005, leader of the Opposition 2007 to 2010 and chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2006 until 2010.

“He was always cheerful, positive and beyond all else an inspiring individual who many of us were fortunate to count as a true friend,” said Councillor Bradley.

“We will all miss his wise words, good humour and considered views and our thoughts are with his wife Frances and their family at this difficult time.”