Walsall councillor Tom Ansell dies after illness
Long-serving councillor and former Walsall Mayor Tom Ansell has died after a period of ill health.
The father-of-two served as a Conservative councillor in Aldridge Central and South for more than 25 years.
He recently celebrated his 70th birthday and Ruby Wedding with his wife Rose. He leaves behind two sons Darren and Jason.
Councillor Ansell was the current cabinet member for transport and environment having been in the role since 2009.
He was made Mayor in 2008, helping to raise almost £20,000 for his chosen charities Golden Wishes and Walsall Hospice.
The well-respected member had previously been council leader and helped lead the improvement of the authority after it was nationally condemned by the Government over a decade ago.
The grandfather of four initially started his political career as an Independent councillor in Blakenall.
His son Darren said: "I don't think many people find their true calling in life, I believe my dad did.
"He was a dedicated servant of Walsall and he took his responsibilities of being a representative of the people of Walsall immensely serious.
"He enjoyed the challenges of all of the different roles and the cabinets he was a part of for over thirty years whilst being a member of Walsall Council.
He found it a great honour to be the Mayor of Walsall and being given the opportunity to represent Walsall and perform it's civics duties. We hope he will be remembered as a stalwart of Walsall and the people of Walsall.
"From a family perspective he will be sorely missed as he leaves his wife, two sons and four grandchildren with many happy memories."