MIKE ELLIS, who stood down from St Albans District Council's cabinet in November, died yesterday, losing his battle with cancer.

The long serving Liberal Democrat district councillor, who also sat on the county council, died in St Albans City Hospital at the age of 68.

His cabinet colleague Anthony Rowlands said: "Mike Ellis was a local councillor of the highest calibre.

"A longstanding resident of Ashley, he quickly gained a deserved reputation as a dedicated and effective councillor who worked unstintingly on behalf of local residents earning their appreciation and respect.

“As a portfolio holder, Mike made an immense contribution to the work of the council.

"He was fair-minded and wise.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Alison and their three sons.”

Council leader Robert Donald said: “I regarded it as a great privilege to have Mike as a portfolio holder for environment and sustainability.

"His commitment and tenacity were always tempered with a diplomacy which enabled him successfully to overcome even contentious issues with residents, such as the introduction of the new twin bin refuse and recycling kerbside collection service.

"Even when he took a robustly different view on an issue from the rest of us, as he did occasionally, his integrity and loyalty were never in doubt and he always graciously accepted the democratic wish of the majority. "