Tributes are being paid to Bradford councillor Michael Kelly who sadly died on Tuesday.

Seventy year-old Councillor Kelly, who lived in Addingham, represented the Craven ward on the Council for the past decade.

He sat on many of the Council’s committees from 2004 onwards including the Young People and Education Committee, the Health Improvement Committee, and Keighley Area Committee.

He also sat on the Employee Appeals Panel and the Social Services Appeals Panel.

But he is probably best known for being the portfolio holder for Children’s Services and Education from 2009 to 2010.

Despite battling a long illness Coun Kelly continued being a councillor up until his death.

His close friend and fellow councillor, Coun Andrew Mallinson, said: “Michael really enjoyed his role as Executive Member of Children’s Services.

"He was always very calm and dedicated and did his best to make sense of a very difficult job. Outside of his Council duties he loved rugby and enjoyed a pint in his local pub. He will be much missed by his friends and colleagues.”

Fellow Craven ward councillor Adrian Naylor (Ind) said: “I had known Michael since 2006 and he was one of the remaining true gentlemen in politics who stood up for what he believed in and what the people of Addingham believed in.

“He will be a sad loss for all of those who knew him.”

Keighley and Ilkley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins added: “I was deeply saddened to be informed of the death of my friend and colleague Coun Michael Kelly.

“During my period as Leader of Bradford Council, I had the privilege of appointing Mike to the position of Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services. It was a role he fulfilled with great distinction as he sought to do the very best he could to better the lives of young people across the district.

“Despite his illness, he remained determined to continue to serve local residents in Craven whom he was immensely proud to represent as their ward councillor.

“Mike’s passing is a huge loss to Bradford district, to the Keighley and Ilkley Conservative Association and, most importantly, to his many friends who held him in such high personal regard.

“My sincere sympathies are with his family at this very sad time.”

Coun Glen Miller, Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Michael was a real champion for young people when he was the Executive Member for Children’s Services. He cared passionately about achieving better outcomes for all our children.”

Coun Jeanette Sunderland, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “Michael was a gentleman who worked hard for his constituents and was a loyal member of the Conservative party.”