Rodney Rose, the former deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, has died.

He had served as the chairman of the joint delivery board for the western section of the East West rail project in addition to his work on the council.

Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the council, said Mr Rose had been a 'tireless champion' for public services in Oxfordshire.

Mr Hudspeth said: "It was with great sadness that we learned that Rodney Rose, the deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council until last year, died at the weekend.

"I will miss him greatly as a friend and colleague. On behalf of everyone at Oxfordshire County Council who knew and worked with him, I send his family our deepest condolences."

"I worked closely with Rodney for many years. He was a tireless and dedicated local councillor representing Charlbury and Wychwood. As a long-serving member of the Cabinet, he had ranging responsibilities for council services."

Mr Hudspeth added: "He was a tireless champion of Oxfordshire’s fire and rescue service. He represented the county council on several major projects that will benefit Oxfordshire, including the East West rail scheme and the planned flood alleviation scheme around west Oxford. These will be his legacy as a public servant."

Liam Walker, the current county councillor for Hanborough and Minster Lovell, paid tribute to Mr Rose this morning. 

Mr Rose, a Conservative, lost his seat in May 2017 to current councillor, Lib Dem Liz Leffman. 

He served five terms, having been elected to the council in 1997. 

Liz Brighouse, the council’s leader of the opposition, said her memories of Mr Rose, who was 70, will be of the pair laughing together – despite their fierce political differences.

Labour’s Mrs Brighouse said: “He was someone who was just a really decent man who was always ready to listen to you when you were arguing with him.

“He was funny. He was a guy who saw the funny said of things, was not into doom and gloom and a really excellent councillor for his area.”

She added: “My memories of him will just be of us laughing.”