Tributes paid to West Norfolk councillor Ian Gourlay

Ian Gourlay, right, pictured with council workers Dave Cook and Gary Howman at a public servant even

Ian Gourlay, right, pictured with council workers Dave Cook and Gary Howman at a public servant event at Fairstead Community Centre in 2003. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Tributes have been paid to King's Lynn Labour councillor Ian Gourlay, who passed away aged 67 yesterday after suffering from cancer since 2011.

Mr Gourlay had represented the Fairstead ward since 2013, which he shared with councillor Margaret Wilkinson.

'We have worked very closely together and he worked awfully hard to represent the residents,' she said. 'He was my right arm and I feel a great pain that we have lost him.

'He was a good colleague and a good friend.'

West Norfolk council leader Brian Long said Mr Gourlay will be remembered as a hard-working councillor with a big heart.

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He said: 'I was saddened to hear this news. He was always a larger-than-life character with strong opinions and a less than conventional approach to getting things done.

'But behind all of that was a total desire to do the best he could to help the people of his ward. He was a real advocate for the Fairstead estate and the people he represented.

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'He will be sorely missed.'

Mr Gourlay served as the deputy leader of the Labour group since May last year. Councillor John Collop, leader of the Labour group, added: 'I have known Ian since my wife and I moved to King's Lynn 1987.

'This is a very sad loss for his family, the council and the residents of Fairstead.

'He was a tremendous councillor who worked tirelessly for his ward, and he was also a close personal friend. 'My wife and I will miss him dearly and our thoughts are with his family at this time.'

East of England MEP Alex Mayer described Mr Gourlay as a pillar of his local community.

She said: 'I am very sad to hear the news of the death of Ian Gourlay.

'I was lucky to spend many hours on the doorsteps campaigning with Ian. He always stood up for the people of King's Lynn and his death is a great loss.'

Secretary of North West Norfolk Constituency Labour Party, Jo Rust, said Mr Gourlay's continued drive and enthusiasm for new ideas and was an inspiration to many.

'He never lost his sense of humour despite being poorly for so long,' she added.

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