AS The Mail went to Press, news broke that councillor David Pidduck’s tenure as leader of Barrow Borough Council appears to be over.

There is no denying that gentlemanly “Dave” has been a calm and steady influence at a time of tremendous tumult in Local Government.

A faithful public servant for 23 years, he has managed to keep the ship on course, despite shrinking budgets. In these last nine years, Barrow has suffered in excess of £7 million worth of budget cuts handed down by central Government.

Not only has that led to a reduction in staff at the town hall, but the austerity agenda has hit the borough’s poorest wards very hard.

Cllr Pidduck has handled it all with grace and quite often, his trademark cutting wit.

It is clear he is a councillor who has always endeavoured to help the worse off and provide services to the most needy. A Barrovian through and through, he has been a genuine ambassador for a town that he cares so passionately about.

In this age of social media, too many of us are too quick to judge our local councillors. They are only trying to do their best with very limited resources.

With a new chief executive at the helm and a new leader in the offing, these are interesting times. Cllr Pidduck will be a hard act to follow.