A former mayor of Thurrock, Ian Harrison, and "total rock" to the community has died after a courageous battle against a short illness.

Ian, who was 86, had retired up to Norfolk some years ago and was treated at James Paget Hospital, Great Yarmouth.

He died on Monday, March 12.

Ian served as a Thurrock Councillor from 2000-2011 (Chafford Hundred then Corringham & Fobbing) and as Borough Mayor during 2004/05.

Those who admired Ian remembered him as a  'practical' and 'no-nonsense' councillor.

Also, Ian served as a Founder Trustee of the Charity Holiday Homes for the Handicapped, founded by his wife Daphne Hart J.P, which provided respite care since 1979, for thousands of disadvantaged local families. 

Ian's Grandson, former Thurrock Councillor, Richard Bingley, said: "Ian was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. But somehow, he found the time to help so many local people through being an exceptional councillor and charity worker.

"He was absolutely selfless and a total rock for so many people. He didn't do 'small talk' and, for that reason, when he did say something, everybody literally sat and up listened!"