TRIBUTES are being paid after the death of a former town mayor.

The former town mayor and Bolton councillor Ian Hamilton death was announced by Horwich Town Council today.

Mr Hamilton served on Bolton Council, as well as Horwich and Blackrod's town councils.

Mr Hamilton was on Horwich Town Council from 1987 to 1991, representing the area as its local mayor from 1988 to 1989.

He then went on to become Blackrod town mayor from 2007 to 2008.

The former councillor died on Sunday.

Horwich town councillor Steven Rock served on Bolton Council at the same time as Mr Hamilton and the pair were friends for more than 20 years.

Cllr Rock spoke of their friendship in the wake of Mr Hamilton's death, saying: "I have known Ian for a long time. Ian was a true gentleman, he was a rare breed. Everybody liked him, I never heard a bad word said about him. He would do anything to help you, he was always there and you could sit and have a chat with him.

"We affectionately knew him as 'Bomber Hamilton' as he was in the RAF."

Cllr Rock added: "We worked together for many years on Bolton Council and we helped each other. It is fairly unique to be mayor of town different towns.

"He did not care much about the politics, he was about the community.

"When I found out he had passed away, it was quite a blow. "He has been a good friend of mine for over 20 years. I think he will be missed by a lot of people."

Blackrod Town Council paid tribute, saying: "It was with sadness that councillors from Blackrod Town Council heard the news of former Cllr Ian Hamilton’s passing. Ian served the council and community of Blackrod for a number of years and held the position of Town Mayor within the 2007-2008 civic year.

"Although retired from his role within the council, from 2017 to 2018 Ian also provided support as Consort to the Town Mayor of Blackrod attending many functions within that year. Ian was a well-respected member of the Blackrod Community and the thoughts of the town council are with his family and friends at this sad time.

Horwich Town Council also passed their thoughts and condolences to Mr Hamilton's family.