WARM tributes have been paid to a former chairman of Monmouthshire council who was described as being at the centre of his community.

Donald Spencer was named a Community Hero, in recognition of his work with farming organisations and local politics, at the South Wales Argus' Pride of Gwent Awards last year.

Monmouthshire councillors paid their respects to Mr Spencer, a Raglan resident, at a meeting this week following his death on Wednesday.

Council leader, Cllr Peter Fox, described Mr Spencer as a "wonderful man."

"He was a sharp councillor who always had the right purposes in all he did and he will be missed," Cllr Fox said at the meeting on Thursday.

"He was as sharp as a knife right up until very recent weeks, even writing to me on a policy issue."

Mr Spencer, 91, was elected onto Monmouth Borough Council in 1987, representing the St Arvans ward near Chepstow until 2004 and serving as council chairman from 2001-2002.

Last year the father-of-three was recognised for his dedication to his community, winning the South Wales Argus Pride of Gwent Community Hero Award.

After finding out he had won the award in May 2018, Mr Spencer told the Argus: "I am very pleased about it, it’s quite a surprised that I won."

And speaking after being presented with the award, he praised the community spirit of his home county, saying: "I have never lived outside Monmouthshire, the friendliness of the community and the support you get with the community is wonderful and the work was very rewarding."

Originally from Llanover, Mr Spencer was a dairy farmer for most of his life as he started farming with his family when he was 16-years-old.

He joined the Young Farmers Club in Abergavenny in 1943 and it became a big part of his life.

Councillor Val Smith described Mr Spencer as "kind and supportive."

"He was a very kind man, devoted to his family, who served the council well and truly and honestly," she added.

Mr Spencer was also a governor at Monmouth Boys School, which he attended from 1938 to 1943, and Chepstow Comprehensive School.

As well as farming, religion has been a big part of Mr Spencer’s life and he served as treasurer of the Church of St Cadoc in Raglan.

Mr Spencer's funeral will take place at St Cadoc's Church in Raglan at 11am on Monday, June 3.