'Beloved and passionate' Dudley councillor dies just days after being re-elected
A Dudley councillor who was "passionate about the area he represented" has died just days after being re-elected.
Labour councillor Richard Body was a stalwart representative of the Cradley and Wollescote Ward, having first been elected in 2004.
He was previously chair of Dudley Council's Taxis Committee but had served on many other committees during almost two decades of public service.
The dedicated Wollescote resident was re-elected into his seat on Friday, after the general public took to the polls for the local elections.
Sadly, Councillor Body died on Tuesday morning and his colleagues are paying tribute in his honour.
Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of the Labour Group on Dudley Council, said: "This news has sent shockwaves across the political spectrum.
"Richard was a unique character who brought a different perspective to the Labour group.
"He was ingrained within his community with the work he did with the Friends group, his battle against greenbelt development and more recently, the campaign to save Cradley Library.
"He shared publicly his journey to fitness and despite having two mechanical knees he walked the length and breadth of his ward to secure an extraordinary victory.
"I spent many hours with him on the run-up to the election and I saw the love that the community had for him.
"Me and my colleagues will miss him dearly. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, children and grandchildren."
His fellow ward councillor Tim Crumpton added: "Richard wasn’t just a colleague, he was a dear friend and almost one of the family.
"He was intensely passionate about the area he represented, which he was born in and lived in all his life and he was incredibly proud of that. I and others will really miss him."