Dedicated Huntingdonshire councillor and former mayor of St Ives John Winston Davies has died.

Council leader Cllr Ryan Fuller released a statement this morning (March 19) announcing Cllr Davies’ death.

He was a popular figure throughout the local communities – and was ward member for St Ives South, three-time mayor for the town and current chairman of Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC).

Paying tribute to him, Cllr Fuller said “wherever John went there would always be someone who would want to catch up with him, say hello, bend his ear about a local issue or ask for his advice - such was his popularity and his desire to engage with his community at every opportunity".

The statement continued: “John dedicated nearly three decades to the Huntingdonshire community through his service on the district council and was the most well respected and well-liked councillor I have had the pleasure to know.

“John was the ward member for St Ives South but his community work and civic roles meant that he was well known across the district.

“John made a difference to the people and communities of our district, and his loss will be deeply felt by so many across Huntingdonshire.

“He was first elected to both St Ives Town Council and Huntingdonshire District Council in 1992.

“Since then he has proudly held many positions throughout his 29 years of continuous service, including as a three-time Mayor of St Ives, chairman of the licensing committee and two terms as vice-chairman and then chairman of the district council.

“John was also actively involved with a wide range of groups including the St Ives Sea Scouts, St Ives Town Initiative, St Ives Christmas Lights Committee, the Noble’s Field Trust and St John Ambulance.

“John was a friend to all across the council chamber and, on a personal level, a close friend and mentor of mine throughout my entire time as a councillor.

“He chaired meetings of the council with grace and a keen observation and knowledge of protocols and the dignity of his civic leadership role. Few have given greater service to our community than John.

“On behalf of all at Huntingdonshire District Council I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to John’s family and to all those fortunate enough to have met him. He will be missed.”

Tributes to Cllr Davies from across the district have been sent to The Hunts Post.

Mayor of Huntingdon Cllr Karl Webb described him as “a true friend to everyone”.

“My thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this sad time,” he said.

“I met John many years ago, but it was in the last couple of years that we worked together.

“John was a true friend to everyone, always willing to give advice and encouragement to anyone.

“In our roles as chairman and mayor, we were looking forward to more community events and engagements representing the district and town.

“Thank you for your service, and friendship, John, you will be missed.”

The St Ives Christmas Lights committee team said the town was “united in grief”.

“Our sadness at this time is shared by people not just in St Ives but a much wider community, that is so much richer for having the knowledge, support and guidance of John,” they commented.

“As we remember with gratitude his service given to the town, the district and many charities and community organisations, we also now hold his family and close friends in our hearts and minds as they grieve the loss of a man who showed determination, leadership and above all compassion.”

Bill Hensley, former Huntingdon mayor and manager of radio station HCR, said Cllr Davies was a “kind, gentle man”.

Mr Hensley added: “I knew John and his wife Jean in two capacities, firstly as a fellow councillor during my time as a county councillor, and latterly as a Huntingdon town councillor and mayor.

“John was a lovely, kind, gentle man and always there to help with good advice or problems.

“The second way that I was in touch with John and his wife Jean, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago, was through Huntingdon Community Radio, where they were avid listeners.

“They frequently telephoned in to my shows with points of view, and of course to enter competitions.

“They are both sorely missed.”