Hampshire's former council leader Ken Thornber dies
Former leader and chairman of Hampshire County Council Ken Thornber has died.
Mr Thornber was leader of the council from 1999 to 2013 and served as a councillor for 40 years, retiring in May aged 84.
He was made Honorary Alderman by Hampshire County Council on Thursday but was too ill to attend the ceremony.
Council leader Roy Perry said Mr Thornber was a "hugely respected politician, both locally and nationally".
He said: "Ken played a pivotal role in the political and decision-making process in Hampshire - serving the people of the county with diligence and commitment for many years.
"He cared very much about the divisions that he represented during his four decades of public service. He was equally passionate about the whole of the county, the importance of local government and of public service."
Mr Thornber was first elected to the council in 1977 for Hythe, then in 1981 for Dibden and Hythe, and from 1989 for Brockenhurst. He was council chairman in 2013-4.
In 1993, he was appointed CBE for services to politics. He was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Winchester University in 2005.