HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to Wychavon and Evesham town councillor Reg Jakeman who died suddenly on Saturday.

The 76-year-old, who had been a member of both councils since 2007, was described as a "kind, understanding and helpful" man who had time for everyone by his family.

He is believed to have died on his way to hospital after being found in his car on the roadside.

Cllr Jakeman leaves behind his wife and fellow councillor Lynne Jakeman and three children, son Chris Jakeman, and daughters Carolyn Cousins and Linda Burroughs.

Chris Jakeman remembered his father: "He was a very kind, understanding and helpful man who would help absolutely anybody and did everyday of his life, whether they were his family or not."

In his role on the town council Cllr Jakeman represented the South Ward. He was an active member serving on the market steering group, planning and general purposes committee, and Wallace House management committee.

Cllr Jakeman was also active in the community, serving on the Bell Tower committee and carrying out work with the homeless.

Paying tribute, the town mayor Cllr Charlie Homer said: "Reg was a committed town councillor who had a passion for the community he served.

"He did a lot of good work. I think it's very sad and obviously a shock.

"His work with the homeless was testament to this and to his caring nature. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his wife Cllr Lynne Jakeman."

Cllr Robert Raphael added: "I was good friends with Reg, he always had time for me and I for him. He was a goods leader in the fair trade movement and was a driver behind the town becoming fair trade."

A conservative, Cllr Jakeman also played an important role at Wychavon, as chairman of the audit committee and as a member of the planning committee.

Councillor Paul Middlebrough, the leader, said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to Reg’s family, particularly his wife Lynne.

"Reg was a real community man and had a particular desire to help and support the homeless.

"All of us here at Wychavon will dearly miss Reg."

Evesham town councillors will be dressed in robes for Cllr Jakeman's funeral, which will take place at All Saints Church in Evesham on Tuesday, December 2, at noon.