TRIBUTES have been paid to a former council clerk who has been described as a great ambassador and family man.
Former Peterlee Town Council clerk Tom Hunt, 77, who served the council for 32 years before he stood down in 1996, died last week.
Mr Hunt joined the council as part-time clerk in 1964 and helped shape Peterlee over three decades.
Council chiefs say he always had a vision for the town and worked with councillors on key decisions like the building of the town's cricket and football clubs, the creation of a town mayor, and the council's move to its current base at Shotton Hall.
The dad of six, who had seven grandchildren, has been described by his family as a "fantastic father and granddad" who would do anything for anyone.
Bill Jeffrey, leader of Peterlee Town Council, said: "Tom always had a lot of interest in the town, he saw the town grow, and believed there was a lot the council could do.
"He always had a vision for Peterlee that the council could be better and give a lot more to the people of the town.
"Tom was the clerk when we built the cricket and football clubs, these were things that parish council's hadn't done before. He was involved when we launched the mayorship and was one of the leading lights when we took over Shotton Hall, leading the negotiations with the corporation, and building the banquetting suites.
"He was a big family man and he had electors at heart. He will be sadly missed."
Mr Hunt joined the council as a part-time clerk in 1964, but it became a full-time job 15 years later when he stood down a chief committee clerk at Easington District Council.
He was born in Easington and had four brothers and a four sisters.
His son Julian, 46, who has three sons and lives in Horden, said: "He was a big family man and he was always there for us.
"If he could help people he would. A lot of people who I don't know have stopped me and said they knew him because he did something for them. He was so caring."
A funeral service is being held at Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church, in Horden, on Thursday, at 11am followed by internment at Easington Village Cemetery.