TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the longest-serving political leaders in Tenbury and the Teme Valley.

It follows the death of Reg Farmer at the age of 88.

He had been active in Tenbury and the Teme Valley for as long as most people can remember and was the only Alderman of Malvern Hills District Council.

Reg Farmer spent 14 years on Malvern Hills District Council having first been elected in 1997. Alderman Farmer served twice as chairman of the council, in 1999/2000 and 2009/10, and was also leader from 2000 to 2003.

He began his involvement with local government in 1961 after becoming a member of Lindridge Parish Council and over the next five decades worked for his community, including playing a key role in merging Leominster District Council with Malvern Hills District Council.

Alderman Farmer also served on various committees including Northern Area Development Control and was chairman of the planning committee from July 2007 to April 2009.

After leaving the council in 2011, Reg Farmer was recognised for his service by his former colleagues by being made Malvern Hills District Council’s first, and so far only, honorary alderman.

The title is one of the highest civic honours the council can bestow and is given to former councillors for ‘eminent services’ to the authority.

Phil Grove, who represents Tenbury on Malvern Hills District Council and is a former leader of the authority, nominated Reg Farmer for the title as alderman.

He says that Reg Farmer played a big part in helping him with his political career that also includes being member for Hallow of Worcestershire County Council.

“Reg took me under his wing when I first became involved in politics 18 years ago and he was not just a political colleague but a very good friend,” said Phil Grove.

“He was someone who was always willing to give me the benefit of the wealth of his 50 years of experience as a councillor.

“We had many other topics of mutual interest including cricket, rural affairs and, of course, farming. I held Reg in the highest of regards and I will miss his knowledge, his experience and most of all, I will miss terribly a good and close friend.”

"Dad has always been proud of his service to the many communities he has been involved in,” said Reg Farmer's daughter Serena Croad.

"In more recent years, Dad has spoken fondly of his time at the Malvern Hills District Council and reflected upon the families he has supported. He was also devoted to his own family, we are grateful for the times we shared with Dad and will miss him dearly.”

Alderman Farmer leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

His wife Gill, also a former Malvern Hills District councillor, passed away in 2015. She had been a councillor for more than 20 years and died in hospital in Worcester hours after becoming unwell while driving near Tenbury High School.

Alderman Farmer’s funeral service took place on Tuesday (August 15) at St Mary’s Church in Tenbury Wells at 2pm.