TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving councillor who ‘lived and breathed Weymouth’.

Councillor Peter Farrell, of Park Street, Weymouth, died overnight on Monday. He was 65.

A minute’s silence was held in his memory after the sad news was announced at a Weymouth and Portland Borough Council management committee meeting yesterday .

Weymouth residents and fellow councillors have paid tribute to the ‘hard-working and dedicated’ councillor, who was first elected to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council in 1999 and served for 13 years.

Close friend Daren Deadman, owner of The Boat cafe on Weymouth seafront, said Coun Farrell was passionate about Weymouth.

He said: “Peter lived and breathed Weymouth. He cared about the town and what happened to it. He was never afraid to stand up and say what he believed in. If there were more councillors like him Weymouth would be a better place and the town will be worse off without him.

“He was very brave right to the end, he kept positive.

“Peter loved to walk on the seafront and around the town – it will be strange not to see him in Weymouth anymore.”

Coun Farrell was a member of the Conservative group and represented Melcombe Regis ward.

He was on the planning and traffic committee and chairman of the harbour management board and sat as a magistrate in West Dorset.

Councillor Mike Goodman, leader of the Conservative party on the council, said he will be sorely missed by his fellow councillors.

He said: “Peter crossed over from the Liberal Democrats a few years ago and was a private person.

“He had a background in the Merchant Navy and strong links with the port and operation.

“He was an ideal and very hard-working chairman of the harbour management board.”

Coun Goodman added: “Peter had been suffering with cancer for a very long time and fought it with a great deal of courage and determination.

“I will definitely miss his wisdom – he could always be guaranteed to give another slant on any debate.”

Councillor Rachel Rogers said: “He was genuinely helpful to me when I first joined the council. He went out of his way to make sure I knew what I was doing and made it obvious I could go to him with questions if I needed to.

“He offered his help and support to me regardless of the fact that we were in different parties and I was really appreciative of that.

“I will remember him with great fondness and respect.”

Condolences posted online

WEYMOUTH residents took to the Echo website and social media sites to pay tribute to Coun Farrell.

Shaun Hennessy, owner of Blondz salon in Weymouth, said: “R.I.P. Pete, we had some great arguments but you always fought for your residents.

“Weymouth is a lesser place today.”

Resident Emily Pykett said on Twitter: “So sad, one of the best councillors ever.

“He truly loved Weymouth and did his utmost for the town.

“I always voted for him.

“He was always so proud of Weymouth. Always waved and stopped to chat on his rounds around the harbour.”

Gary Hepburn said on Twitter: “It’s sad to hear Peter Farrell has died, a hardworking well-known councillor. I was on the police authority with him for many years.”

Mark Bowditch, of Weymouth, said on Facebook: “R.I.P. Peter, sleep well.”

Kate Hinde said: “Rest in peace Pete, first met you 23 years ago, a true gent.”