The flag at East Hampshire District Council’s offices was lowered to half-mast on Thursday in memory of a long-serving Alton councillor and former EHDC leader and chairman, Patrick Burridge.

Mr Burridge, who lived in Medstead and died earlier this week, was elected as ward councillor for South Alton (West & Beech) in 1995, a ward that would later become Downland and now ceases to exist.

He was elected leader of the district council in 2010 but stood down as leader in 2012 shortly after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, saying in 2012 the demands of the role was affecting his health.

Mr Burridge did though stay on as a councillor until 2015, standing down after serving as chairman of the council for 2014/15.

He was a passionate motorcyclist in his spare time, and is survived by daughter Charlie and granddaughter Zoe.

Charlie, a former Herald employee, said her dad had “left a massive hole in the hearts of his family and he will be so very missed”, adding “we are so glad he was able to meet his granddaughter who was born earlier this year”.

Councillor Richard Millard, leader of EHDC, said: “Patrick was a softly spoken man with a quiet determination which showed through when he stayed on as a councillor despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“He was respectful and kind and a dedicated advocate for his ward. He will be missed by all the staff and councillors who worked with him.”