“A TOWER of strength” – that is how colleagues have described a former borough councillor who has died at the age of 60.

Michael Young, who represented the Chapel ward on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, passed away following a heart attack on May 30.

Elected in 1976, he was half of the first husband-and-wife duo to serve on the council at the same time. His wife, Margaret, represented South Ham until the birth of their son Paul in 1981, and Mr Young stood down shortly afterwards.

Among those who have paid tribute to Mr Young is Labour group leader Councillor Laura James. She said: “Mike was a tower of strength in the Labour party and always served his community with great skill. Mike and his wife Margaret met through the Labour Party and both served as borough councillors with great distinction.

“Over many years, he did so much work for Basingstoke and our community. He was a kind man, fun with a great sense of humour. He was Basingstoke through and through. I know that many members and colleagues have such fond memories of him – and we will all miss him greatly.”

Mr Young was born in Basingstoke in July 1951. He studied at the University of Newcastle where he attained a 2:1 in economics. Upon leaving university, he returned to Basingstoke and took a job with the Bank of England, commuting up to work in central London.

He bought a house in the Kempshott area and joined the Labour Party. He met his wife Margaret in 1976, the year he was elected to the borough council. They married a year later at the Holy Ghost Church, in Basingstoke.

Mr Young retired seven years ago having risen to the role of senior manager for small business finance.

His son Paul said: “He really did believe in public service. Having worked hard and got himself a good job, he really wanted to give something back to the community.”