A MUCH-LOVED parish councillor and former caretaker in Heybridge has died, the parish council has confirmed.

Heybridge Parish Council has announced the death of west ward councillor Bernard Hall, who was also a caretaker at Plantation Hall for many years.

Bernie sadly died on Monday evening, the council says.

A spokesman for the parish council said: "It is with heavy heart, council have been informed of the sad loss of Cllr Bernard Hall

"Bernie was a much loved, reliable and respected caretaker at Plantation Hall for many years and prior to his retirement he taught our current caretaking staff to do the job 'the Bernie way'.

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"Bernie returned as an elected member in 2019 and was a very active councillor.

"Bernie had Heybridge at his heart and will be greatly missed.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

The parish council will be flying the Union Jack at half mast as a sign of respect.

Mark Heard, chairman of Maldon District Council, also commented: "We are all saddened to hear that Cllr Hall has passed away.

"Our thoughts go to our colleagues at Heybridge Parish Council and the Heybridge community during this difficult time."