THE former Leader of Caerphilly county borough council, Harry Andrews, has died at the age of 80.

Harry Andrews MBE represented the Gilfach ward for more than 40 years and stood down as leader of the authority in 2014 to spend more time with his family.

Current leader, Cllr Dave Poole, paid a tribute to Mr Andrews.

He said: “This is a very sad day for the Caerphilly county borough as Harry was an outstanding public servant.

“He dedicated his life to local politics and always worked hard to represent the best interests of the community. "Harry’s legacy can be found in the transformation and regeneration of Bargoed and the surrounding areas, which he was instrumental and passionate in driving forward.

“Local Government has lost an influential figure and we have lost a good friend and colleague who will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.”

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this difficult time,” he added.