TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran councillor and stalwart of the trade union movement who has died this week.

Councillor Bernie Taylor, who represented Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Ward, passed away at the age of 74 following a short illness.

A former Cleveland County Councillor, Cllr Taylor became a Middlesbrough Councillor in 1995 and has represented Ayresome Ward ever since his election.

As a ward member he championed Acklam Green and worked with residents and the Council to get the development back on track after it stalled.

He has been Chair of Middlesbrough Council’s Licensing Committee for more than 13 years, and as a proud boiler maker was an active GMB Union member and official.

Cllr Taylor was also Chair of the Council’s Education Committee for many years, showing real commitment to achieving the best for the town’s schools.

A practising Roman Catholic who was active in his local church community, Cllr Taylor leaves a wife Joan, two sons and daughter.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “Over 40 years of public life, Bernie Taylor has made a huge contribution to Middlesbrough.

“Bernie’s solid socialist principles and passion for our area have always inspired colleagues and earned the respect of political opponents.

“Bernie always showed utter dedication to the community which elected him.

“Without Bernie’s tenacity and commitment, we would not have been able to get the regeneration of Acklam Green back on track.

“His integrity, passion and knowledge will be sorely missed by us all.”