FORMER Mayor of Lydney and the longest-serving chairman of the Forest Council Bill Hobman has passed away at the age of 87.

Mr Hobman was also the last surviving Honorary Citizen of Lydney.

He was a highly respected public servant for many years and a long-standing member of the Labour Party.

Mr Hobman represented Lydney at every level of local government – town, district and county – for more than 40 years.

His 24 years serving on Gloucestershire County Council included one year as chairman.

As a county councillor, he was instrumental in getting the Lydney by-pass opened.

His other achievements including helping bring Primrose Hill onto one site and securing improvements for the then Whitecross secondary school.

Mr Hobman was a Forest of Dean district councillor for 28 years and was elected chairman on nine occasions.

As a district councillor he, working alongside his wife Val who was  Chair of Lydney Town Council at the time, raised £60,000 in six months to build a swimming pool at Whitecross School.

This was used as evidence of local support when an application was made for a grant to the National Lottery.

He also served nationally and internationally as a member of the Local Government Association and as representative for Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties in Europe on the Committee of the Regions.

Mr Hobman died at Gloucestershire  Royal Hospital on January 27.

His funeral will take place at the Forest of Dean Crematorium next Wednesday (February 14) at 2.30pm.

Flowers may be sent to Gordon Blake Funeral Directors in Lydney or donations in lieu can be made for the Royal British Legion.