TRIBUTES have been paid to a Bewdley councillor who died today (Monday, July 16) following a battle with illness.

Councillor Rod Wilson had been a Conservative member of Wyre Forest District Council since 2016 representing the Bewdley and Rock ward. He was due to retire from the role next year.

He was married to Trish and had a son Shaun and four grandchildren.

He also sat on many committees including licensing and planning and was involved in working with the Community Housing Group for nine years, holding a number of roles including tenant representative, board member and Chairman of Oakleaf Commercial Services – from which he stood down following his election in 2016.

He spent most of his working life with National Grid in the West Midlands and was also chairman of the Bewdley PACT panel for 10 years.

Colleagues spoke of their sadness at his death at the age of 72 and paid tribute to his dedication to the area he served.

Councillor Wilson was born in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1945 and moved to Birmingham where he attended King Edwards School at Five Ways.

His teenage passion for fishing meant he got to know Bewdley very well and finally moved to the town and raised his family from his Baldwin Road home in which he lived for more than 40 years.

Rod was a salmon fisherman and was Bailiff for the Kidderminster District Angling Association, BAA and all local fishing venues around the River Severn.

He also worked at Bishopswood Environmental Centre for over 30 years and was made a Vice-President in 2015, alongside being a local trainer for all breeds of dogs within Wyre Forest.

Friend and former Wyre Forest District Council leader Stephen Clee said: “Rod cared passionately about his adopted home town. He was a committed campaigner to promote the benefits for local people.

“He always supported community events in Bewdley & Rock and gave a great deal of his time to issues raised by Rock Parish Council.

“His loss is a great blow to Bewdley People and the Community and Groups he worked with over many years.”

Wyre Forest District Council chairman Stephen Williams added: “We were all saddened to hear the news of Rod’s passing today. Rod was well known and liked in the community.

“He was a dedicated councillor, attending meetings even when he was fighting his illness. I would like to send his family and friends the sincere condolences of everyone here at Wyre Forest District Council.”