A POPULAR former chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council has died.

Windell 'Joe' Walcott was council chairman between 2002 and 2006 and mayor of Carterton from 2000 to 2002.

The community champion, who was 92 and died on Saturday, dedicated almost two decades to public service and was first elected to the district council and Carterton Town Council in 1995.

Mr Walcott won an MBE for his services to the community in 2006, receiving the award from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

The ex-mayor stepped down from his position on the town council in 2013.

Maxine Crossland, chair at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: "Joe was a lovely man – a real gentleman; he always had time for people and was extremely popular with staff and councillors.

"We are all truly saddened to hear of his passing.

"Joe was very proud of his family and of his Jamaican roots and we all enjoyed the many stories of his travels to the UK and his time in the Royal Air Force.

"He was well-known locally and did a lot of good work for Carterton and for West Oxfordshire, serving many local organisations, including Carterton Town Council.

"We were all delighted when his work was recognised in 2006 with an MBE from the Queen."

He had five children, 10 grandchildren – one of whom is Everton and England footballer Theo Walcott – and five great grandchildren.