Former Walsall mayor Tom Ansell dies
Former Walsall mayor and council leader Tom Ansell has died.
Mr Ansell, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, died at Walsall Manor Hospital on Saturday following a short period of ill health, the council said.
He started his political career as an independent councillor in Blakenall and was also a Conservative councillor in the Aldridge Central and South ward.
Since 2009 Mr Ansell had been portfolio holder for transport and the environment on the authority's cabinet.
He was made mayor in 2008, raising almost £20,000 for his chosen charities, Golden Wishes and Walsall Hospice.
Mike Bird, the Conservative leader of Walsall Council, which is run by a Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition, said: "Our sympathies go out to Tom's family at this difficult time.
"We join them in mourning the loss of someone whose contribution to our borough will never be forgotten."
Mr Ansell, a grandfather, recently celebrated his ruby wedding anniversary.
He leaves a widow, Rose, and two sons.