MUCH-LOVED Waverley borough councillor Keith Webster has died, aged 80.

First elected as a borough councillor for Milford in 2003, the Haslemere resident switched to Haslemere East and Grayswood in 2011 before stepping down in 2015.

Waverley leader Julia Potts said: “Keith (right) was a popular man and will be remembered for his good humour and his strong commitment to his constituents and to housing.

“He served as portfolio holder for housing for six years and was respected by fellow councillors, officers, tenants and everyone he came into contact with.

“He will be sadly missed not least by his dear wife, Sheila, his daughter and two sons.”

Fellow Haslemere councillor Stephen Mulliner, who has served both town and borough since 2007, and who has represented Haslemere East and Grayswood since 2015, said: “I liked Keith enormously.

“He and former town borough councillor James Mackie, who sadly died earlier this month, had much in common. They were devoted councillors and did very good work.

“Keith was a very nice man and served Waverley well as portfolio holder for housing. He will be sadly missed.”

Former Witley Parish Council chairman Maxine Gale said: “Keith was a wonderful man and really helpful to me as a newly elected chairman. He gave me lots of encouragement.

“He was always very caring as a Milford borough councillor and so well-known in the village.

“Not many people knew he was a keen rambler and gave us lots of useful information about local footpaths in need of attention.”

Milford environmental campaigners Mike and Kathy Smyth said: “We are very sorry to hear of Keith’s death. He was a kind and honourable man, who worked hard for the good of his Milford ward.

“He supported our environmental work and it is largely due to Keith that 450 Waverley council tenants have solar panels on their roofs and the benefit of free electricity. He also supported our pioneering solar co-operative and was an active member.”

Thanks to Keith’s hard work as Waverley’s portfolio holder for housing, Witley added two much-needed affordable homes to its housing stock in 2013.

At the opening of Hawthorn Close on Haslemere Road, where two chalet bungalows were built in conjunction with Hampshire-based housing association First Wessex, he highlighted the need for many more low-cost houses.

“Each of these chalet bungalows has provided an energy efficient, affordable home for a local household in housing need,” he said.

“Waverley is an area of high house prices, with a pressing need for more affordable housing.

“There are over 1,500 local households waiting for affordable housing to rent in Waverley and each new affordable home we build goes towards meeting this need.”