A COUNCILLOR and former local authority leader has died after a battle with cancer.

Bellingham ward’s Cllr Ron Stockbridge died at the weekend after a long illness though colleagues said he had remained active in the borough right up until Christmas.

A former leader of Lewisham Council, he had been involved in local politics for more than 40 years.

Outside of the council, the Bellingham-born man worked in housing management, was a keen golfer and former footballer.

Fellow councillor Alan Hall said: “He worked tirelessly and was very tenacious.”

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: “He will be sorely missed and he leaves a big gap in the community which will be hard to fill.“