TRIBUTES have been paid to a town councillor who passed away suddenly last night.
Cllr James Box was elected to Wokingham Town Council last year and served on Wescott ward – the first such representative for the Labour party in that seat.
He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
He worked as a senior engineer for a company in Winnersh and was a regular sight at community activities including litter picks and participating in the Norreys and Wescott NAG (Neighbourhood Action Group).
Cllr Andy Croy, the chair of Wokingham constituency Labour party and leader of the Labour group on Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Last night, our friend and comrade, Councillor James Box, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
“He was loved and respected for who he was. Caring, principled, full of energy and with a zest for life that lifted those around him.
“The loss felt by (his wife) Lynne and the children must be unbearable.”
He continued: “James was a town councillor for Wescott West ward of Wokingham Town Council and was the first Labour councillor at any level to be elected in Wescott – a remarkable achievement.
“As a local party, we will also remember him for his boundless enthusiasm, energy and love of door knocking. There was no weather too foul or night too dark that would put James off in his insatiable drive to talk to – and listen to – residents.
“It is a testament to his hard work, determination and drive to succeed that his election defied the national political swing that occurred the same day. He earned his place in Council by sheer hard work. He was a hero to us.
“We were all so proud of James and his achievements. We hope his family can take a tiny crumb of comfort to know that we all held him such high regard.
“We also know that he loved and doted on his family and our thoughts are with them.”