CHELMSFORD Councillor Michael Harris has died after a long battle with lung cancer.

Mr Harris, 67, was Tory councillor for the Bicknacre and East and West Hanningfield ward, as well as the East Hanningfield Parish Council. He died on Sunday.

Fellow Tory city councillor Dick Madden paid tribute to the “humble” Mr Harris.

He said: “Mike was a kind person who cared about his community and the whole of Chelmsford. He was a humble person, and very intelligent with a fantastic sense of humour.

“He will be a great loss to our city.”

Leader of Chelmsford Council, Councillor Roy Whitehead, said: “Mike was a hard-working and diligent councillor and served his residents well. As the Cabinet Member who was leading our drive to increase the Council’s income and protect services for residents he will be sorely missed.

"His cheerfulness and enthusiasm was an inspiration to us all and Members of the Council will miss him and mourn his passing. We send our condolences to his wife Julia and his family.”

Lib Dem councillor Jude Deakin paid tribute to Mr Harris on Twitter. She said: “Very sad to hear of the death of @ChelmsCouncil Cllr Mike Harris. He was a decent man.”