CLLR John Beanse, who has represented the Hale End and Highams Park ward since 2006, has died suddenly.

An active member of the Liberal Democrat Party for many years and general election candidate in the Chingford and Woodford Green consituency in 2001 and 2005, Cllr Beanse was a campaigning force in local politics long before he was elected to the council.

He was educated at local schools and has lived in the area all his life.

He studied modern languages at Cambridge and trained to be a teacher at Goldsmiths' College, London before working at schools in Redbridge and Hertfordshire.

He became an active member of the then Liberal Party in 1974.

Outside politics, he was the last chairman of the local Community Health Council before it was disbanded, a governor in local schools and a committee Help on Call (Chingford Christian Care).

Afzal Malik, vice-chairman of Chingford and Woodford Green Liberal Democrats, said today: “I was deeply shocked to hear the news of the sudden death of Cllr Beanse.

“We worked together in the party for several years. He was an honest, straightforward and resolute person. Anything he said or promised must be done.

“I have lost a sincere colleague, a close associate and a good friend. His passing is an irreplaceable loss to the Liberal Democrats in Waltham Forest.

“I express my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Conservative group leader Cllr Matt Davis. also paid tribute to Cllr Beanse.

Cllr Davis said: "The death of John Beanse has come as a shock. "He was a tireless campaigner for, and in, Chingford who single-handedly built a Lib Dem presence.

"And while we may not have agreed politically we will miss him and would like to extend our condolences to thouse who will miss him more personally."