TRIBUTES were paid yesterday to a long-standing Newport councillor who died at the age of 71.

Alway councillor Ken Powell died at his home in Oakley Street on Thursday afternoon after suffering with cancer.

He became a Newport borough councillor for Alway in 1979 and in 1982 was also elected to Gwent County Council.

Alway ward colleague Cllr Ray Truman, who worked with him for 30 years, extended his deepest sympathies to Mr Powell's partner Pat.

"Ken was a compassionate and caring man who served the people of Alway with distinction. As a friend and a colleague he will be sorely missed," he said.

Cllr Powell was born in Corporation Road, Newport, and had attended Corporation Road School, now St Andrew's, and Stow Hill Secondary School.

He worked in the building and paint industry after leaving school, and had been in been in the Labour party for more than 50 years.

Cllr Powell was highly active as a Labour party organiser, acting as secretary for the Newport Council Labour group and as an agent for Newport East MPs Roy Hughes, Alan Howarth and Jessica Morden and Newport East assembly member John Griffiths.

He served as president of Cromwell Youth AFC and was said by Newport Council to have loved sport, particularly football.

Cllr Powell was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and had been in remission, but his condition worsened after he returned to hospital a few weeks ago.

Alway councillor John Guy said he'd known Ken for two decades: "I will remember him as a good friend and a colleague. He's been a mentor to me."

Cllr Powell served as chairman of the governing bodies at Hartridge High School, where he played a major role in the construction of the new school, and Alway Primary School.

Peter Jenkins, headteacher of the high school, said: "He served the school and more importantly the pupils in the school fantastically well. He wouldn't settle for second best."

Leader of Newport council Cllr Matthew Evans said he was deeply saddened by Ken's death: "He was a quiet and unassuming man but he was passionate about his local community.

"He will be sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues."

SENIOR Newport Labour figures told the Argus that Ken Powell was a councillor dedicated to the community.

Jessica Morden, Newport East MP, told the Argus Ken was Labour to the core: "He was deeply rooted in the community, even when he was ill you would see him walking around his ward."

Bob Bright, leader of Newport council's Labour group, said he was a stalwart and always wanted to make things better for people in the community: "He will be sorely missed."

Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, said he had known Cllr Powell since the early 1960s: "Ken and his family have been proud servants of the Labour Party and Newport for many years. He was a fine councillor in the city that he loved."

John Griffiths, Newport East AM, said: "He was a good friend - he always did a great job for me and for the Labour Party. He was very well thought of in the Alway ward."