Waltham Forest Council paid tribute to a council employee and two former mayors who died of coronavirus.

Council enforcement officer Selvin Rodney, 58, died on April 1 after a short period of self-isolation.

During a virtual meeting of the full council yesterday (May 21), chief executive Martin Esom said he was “tragically the first member of staff to fall victim to Covid-19”.

He added: “Selvin joined the council just over two years ago and in that time became very popular with those he worked with and very much respected.

“Selvin was one of our vital enforcement officers, who have carried out such a critical role in this period.

“He will be very much missed within the council and by the wife and daughter he leaves behind.”

Tribute was also paid to two former Waltham Forest mayors, Geoff Walker, who died on March 21, and Edith Poulson.

Read more: Former mayor dies after short illness

Cllr Tim James (Con), who represents Mr Walker’s former ward Hatch Lane, said he had helped “literally hundreds and hundreds of local residents” in his time as councillor.

He said: “I first met Geoff just over 10 years ago, he was always very kind and courteous. He used to give me advice and was very supportive of me.”

Regarding his disability, he added: “In all the time I knew him, he never once complained, he dealt with his difficulties with dignity and grace.

“He was just a true gentleman, he’s already missed massively and I am sure will be for many years to come.”

Mr Walker served as mayor of the borough in 2011-2012 and raised the largest ever sum for his mayor’s charity appeal, totalling almost £70,000.

Edith Poulson was described by current mayor Chris Robbins (CBE) as one of the borough’s “characters”, who came to Britain 81 years ago fleeing from Nazi Germany.

He said: “After a long and illustrious life, she passed away a few days ago, a few days short of her 102nd birthday.”

He added: “There will be a fuller tribute to all of those mentioned when we are a position to do so.”

More than 200 Waltham Forest residents have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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