VETERAN Maldon councillor Rodney Bass was a huge presence in local politics.

He was elected to Essex County Council as the member for Tollesbury in 1997, and served as a the member for Heybridge and Tollesbury for a further 12 years from 2005.

He was County Hall vice-chairman for two years from 2008 and chairman from 2010.

He sat on and chaired most council committees, and was cabinet member for finance and resources and more recently the council’s highways and transport boss when he signed the council’s current highways contract with Ringway Jacobs.

After retiring from the county council in May 2017, Mr Bass was made Honorary Alderman, an honour for retiring council members in recognition of their service.

He was also awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2017.

Away from council life, Mr Bass was the Provincial Grand Master of Essex Freemasons.

Last month, he launched a countywide fundraising effort among the county’s 300 Masonic Lodges to raise £120,000 for charities who had been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

His work meant he was often in the news.

Here are some photos from our archives.