Long-serving Conservative councillor Sir Peter Batho has died - he represented the Saxmundham area on both Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council at different times.

Sir Peter was a farmer at Saxmundham. He was a Baronet - he inherited his title which was first given to his grandfather in the 1920s after he served as Lord Mayor of London.

He was elected to Suffolk County Council for the then Leiston and Saxmundham Division in 1989 and he served for four years.

Sir Peter was then elected to Suffolk Coastal council for Saxmundham in 2003 and served on that council for 12 years - he was council chair in 2006/7.

Current county councillor for Saxmundham Richard Smith paid tribute to him: "I first met Sir Peter Batho shortly after I bought my house in Saxmundham in 1991. 

"Apart from being a family man, his two abiding interests were farming and politics, and he held expert opinions on both subjects.

"I am not able to talk further about his role as a farmer with profound agricultural knowledge, but he was a doughty Conservative politician, dedicated in the finest tradition to representing the communities he represented.

"He was always part of a team, both personally and politically. His wife Lucille was always loyally at his side and they were a very happy couple who took much strength from each other, and were at their most effective when together."

Sir Peter was a member of Saxmundham Town Council for many years and current chair Di Eastman said she and her late husband Terry had been warmly welcomed by Sir Peter and his wife Lucille when they moved to the town in 2000.

She added: "Sir Peter epitomised Saxmundham in many ways - very understated, a little bit quirky, but with a warmth and charm all of its own.  

"Sir Peter will be greatly missed, having served the local community with great distinction for many years as a county councillor, a district councillor and of course as a Saxmundham Town councillor and a former chairman."

The council had sent its condolences to the family after Monday's meeting.