TRIBUTES have been paid to Wychavon District councillor Tom McDonald, who sadly passed away on Tuesday, February 25 at St Richard’s Hospice at the age of 79.

Councillor Paul Middlebrough, leader of the council, said: “This is a very sad day for all of us here at Wychavon. As soon as Tom was elected seven years ago I knew from his enthusiasm and eagerness that he would be a great asset to board, so I immediately asked him to take up a senior position.

“Tom was not only enthusiastic, committed and loyal he also took his portfolio to heart campaigning on environmental issues and flood protection especially in his ward of Fladbury.”

Coun McDonald had had a highly successful career as a chartered engineer in the aviation industry before joining the council, where he acted as executive board member for economy, regeneration and flooding, as well as representing the residents of Fladbury.

He also worked as a regional representative on the Severn Trent Water Forum, and as part of the council he took a leading role in the restoration of the Droitwich Spa canals, taking responsibility for it in its later stages as the project finally came to fruition, and was heavily involved in the council’s Intelligently Green programme

Prior to his time as Wychavon District Council, he served as chairman of the CPRE in Worcestershire for four years from 2003 to 2007, dealing with the group’s 600-strong membership.

Current chairman of CPRE Worcestershire, Frank Hill, said: “Tom was a very positive character who liked to see things getting done. He was very passionate on protecting the countryside from excessive development and he was a good organiser of people in general, running the exec in a positive way and getting people to talk as planning monitors.

He was a really enthusiastic chap.”

Coun Middlebrough added: “Tom took communicating to his ward very seriously and produced a newsletter called Tom’s Mini Round Up and regularly walked his dog in the village using it as an opportunity to get out and talk to the residents in his ward. Tom will be sadly missed and our heartfelt condolences go out to his friends and family.”