Tributes have been paid after the death of a former Rossendale mayor who was involved in projects both locally and globally.

Dr Colin Crawforth took action following the 2004 tsunami in south-east Asia and recently helped to fund landmine detectors for war-torn Ukraine.

He was a Rossendale councillor for 11 years and a Labour member for the Hareholme ward between 2007 and 2018.

He was Mayor of Rossendale for the 2017-18 year, supported by his wife, Denise, as Mayoress.

He also served on a number of committees during his time as a councillor and Rossendale Council’s champion for people linked to the armed forces.

Dr Crawforth was also a church warden at St Paul’s, Constable Lee, and lived in Rawtenstall for many years. In his working life, he was a high school science teacher.

During his year as mayor, his main charities supported included Rubicon, White Horse Project, Vision and Rossendale young people’s charities. His other activities included being a trustee at the International Aid Trust charity and organising a Relay for Life event with councillors to raise money for Cancer Research.

He and his wife both became involved with the Chorley-based International Aid Trust in 2004, after the tsunami tidal wave disaster in south-east Asia. They helped the trust with a range of tasks including office and warehouse work, fund-raising, meetings and talks.

Last month, October 2023, to mark Dr Crawforth’s 85th birthday, the couple made a donation to the trust, allowing it to buy mine detectors for Ukraine. The Rev Bernard Cocker, founder of the trust, said their gift would help to save lives in Ukraine for a long time to come.

Speaking this week, Coun Alan Neal, a Rossendale Whitworth councillor, said: “This is very sad news. Colin was a very hard-working ward councillor and also a wonderful past mayor of Rossendale.

“He always treated everyone equally. He was also a great advocate for numerous humanitarian causes. I well remember him driving thousands of miles to Poland, Ukraine and Romania, delivering humanitarian aid through the CAFOD charity. His faith also meant a great deal to him and his family.

“Colin will be sadly missed by all who knew him. We thank him for what he gave to others. He always placed other people before himself.”

Rossendale Council said flags at St Mary’s Gardens and Town Square, Rawtenstall, will be lowered to half-mast as a sign of respect. Further details of funeral arrangements will be announced soon.