TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-standing Portishead councillor.

Honorary Alderman Barry Walters died on Friday, after a short illness, aged 81.

Retired from the petrochemical industry, he had represented Coast Ward since 1987, serving on Portishead Town Council, Woodspring District Council and then North Somerset Council. He was also fervent about environmental matters and protecting the local area.

Barry has served as chairman of the town council and was made leader of North Somerset Council in 1999.

In an email to colleagues, North Somerset Council’s chief executive, Mike Jackson said: “Barry was a well-known and respected figure across the district and he was passionate about making sure the council provided the very best services to the community. His personal qualities as a man of great integrity, reliability and a wonderfully old fashioned no-nonsense approach to the democratic process stood him out as an exceptional servant for his constituency and for the district.”

His fellow councillors also paid tribute.

Cllr Reyna Knight said: “Barry helped me enormously when I was a newly-elected councillor. He was very well respected and his fund of knowledge cannot be replaced.”

Agreeing, Cllr David Pasley said: “Barry’s expertise was vast and so many of us looked to him for guidance. He was the father of the town council, a fair man with a depth of knowledge, he will be sorely missed.”

Barry leaves two daughters and a son, Kate, Megan and Mark, and three grandchildren.

Mark said: “I will always be proud of the part my father played in the improvements of Portishead and his desire to serve the local community without fear of being controversial and when necessary making the difficult decisions. He always approached any challenge with a good nature and an interesting story.”

The funeral will be at noon on June 17 at St Peter’s Church, Church Road North, followed by a wake at Clarence House in High Street.

Family flowers only, but donations can be made to F H Halliday, 115 High Street, for Portishead Horticultural Society, Portishead Christmas lights and Portishead in Bloom.