Tributes have been paid to West Berkshire Council’s leader Roger Croft, who died on Friday evening.
Mr Croft, 68, had been in hospital being treated for serious injuries after being involved in a car crash in France on February 13, which also claimed the life of his wife Zelda.
He had been a Conservative councillor for Thatcham South and Crookham since 2011 and became deputy leader three years later, before taking over as leader in November 2015.
Prior to becoming a councillor Mr Croft worked in the IT industry.
And tributes have been flooding in in remembrance of his “real passion for serving the communities in West Berkshire”.
Acting council leader Graham Jones said: “Whilst Roger got elected to West Berkshire Council after retirement he brought with him the zeal and energy of a much younger man, but this was always tempered by lots of life experience on how to get things done.
“Across the council he had huge respect from colleagues for his leadership and dedication, and was above all else focused on the result and ‘would it help the taxpayer?’.
“Zelda’s support was so important to him and they both became good friends. We will miss them both terribly.”
Council chief executive Nick Carter said: “I will remember Roger for his energy, drive and vision.
“He was the architect behind the current council strategy and at the time of his passing was playing a lead role in exploring a range of new income opportunities for the council.
“We will all miss his real passion for serving the communities here in West Berkshire and of course his friendship and humour.”
Cllr Jones will remain as acting leader for the time being, with Hilary Cole as deputy leader.
A new permanent leader is expected to be elected in the next couple of months.
Politicians from across West Berkshire have also been paying their respects to Mr Croft.
Steve Masters, chairman of the West Berkshire Green Party, said: “On behalf of the party I would like to pass on our condolences to the Croft family.
“While we have been at odds politically I have always been struck by Roger Croft’s commitment and service to West Berkshire.”
On Twitter, Newbury Labour wrote: “Our condolences to all the West Berkshire staff and council, and of course the family and friends of Cllr Roger Croft at his passing.”
Newbury MP Richard Benyon added: “So sad that my friend and leader of West Berkshire Council, Roger Croft, has died. It would be hard to find someone more decent or kind. RIP.”