TRIBUTES have been paid to a Barrow councillor who has died suddenly.

Councillor Bill Bleasdale, 76, a husband and father of five, who was a councillor for the ward of Dalton South, died suddenly in the early hours of Thursday morning.

His wife Janet said: "The whole family are devastated at the loss of Bill. He had a kind and generous heart and will be sadly missed by all his family and friends."

The Mayor of Dalton, Wendy Maddox, whose post was held by Cllr Bleasdale a number of years ago, has also paid tribute to his strong character and hard-working personality.

She said: "He was a very strong character that would speak his mind and this is extremely sad as it is such a shock.

"He was very active in his work and whenever someone came to him with a problem he was always working to sort it out."

More recently, Cllr Bleasdale was working with Barrow Borough Council's planning committee. Back in 2010, he received his licence from the Church of England's diocese to work alongside clergy in the Dalton area.

As a result, he has worked recently as a lay minister/reader at St Cuthbert's Parish Church in Kirkby, and was a church warden for Dalton St Mary's Church and St Peter's Church, Ireleth.