TRIBUTES have been paid to the ‘gentlem-an’ mayor of Grange-over-Sands following his sudden death on New Year’s Day.

Coun Norman John Bailey, 79, died peac-efully at St Mary’s Hos-pice, in Ulverston, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

The married father of three was elected as an independent coun- cillor to Grange Town Council in 2011, and became mayor in May 2013.

His deputy, Coun Tricia Thomas, led the tributes to the retired metallurgist.

She said: “He really was a gentleman. As a councillor, he always asked questions – quite searching questions – and didn’t take any-thing as read, which is really useful as a councillor. Norman felt very passionately that he wanted Grange to be a town that people could be proud of.”

Coun Thomas said Coun Bailey had been ill on and off since his election as mayor, but continued to do all he could.

Grange Town Council leader Tom Harvey said: “Norman’s pass-ing is a great loss and my thoughts are with his wife Jackie, his fam- ily and friends. I’ve experienced first-hand Norman’s passion and drive in doing what he could to make our town a better place. “Quite simply he was a decent bloke, the sort of person ev-ery town needs and we have been extrem-ely fortunate that as Grange mayor he rep-resented our town to the best of his cons-iderable ability. I will greatly miss him"

Mr Bailey leaves a wife Jackie, three chil- dren, eight grandch-ildren and three great- grandchildren.

The funeral service will be on Wednesday, at Lancaster and Mor-ecambe Crematorium followed by a “celeb-ration of his life” at St Paul’s Parish Church, Grange, at 2pm.

People are asked not to wear black, with family flowers only, and donations in his memory, for St Mary’s Hospice, to be sent to Alan Postlethwaite, funeral director, Main Street, Grange-over-Sands.