A CAMPAIGNING former council leader and highways boss has died after a battle with diabetes.

George Slynn, who ran Hyndburn Council for over 11 years as Labour leader, will be remembered as a “passionate” and “knowledgeable” man who loved his home town of Great Harwood.

In a 24-year career Coun Slynn, 73, also served on Lancashire County Council, many years as the executive me-mber for high-ways.

Friends and coll-eagues said Coun Slynn was a “combative” coun-cillor but a kind man away from the town and cou-nty hall.

Coun Slynn, a former postman and union repres-entative, died yest-erday morning. He had developed diabetes and had lost a foot because of the disease.

In recent months his friends said his condition had begun to deteriorate.

County Council leader Hazel Harding said: “He had a tremendous knowledge and used to use a filing system that consisted of several plastic carrier bags filled with notes.

“He was dedicated to those who elected him.

“And he was passionate about Hyndburn and the county as a whole.

“George could be very comb-ative and enjoyed the to and fro of the council chamber.”

Friend and colleague Coun Jean Battle said Coun Slynn was proud to have been the driving force behind the development of the Globe Centre in Accrington.

She added: “He had plenty of vision and never stood still.

“He always had an idea and would not let anything stand in his way.”

Coun Slynn was elected to Lancashire County Council in 1981 and he served there until 2005. As a district councillor he was Labour leader for many years and was council leader from 1988 until 1999 when he lost the council to the Tories and Peter Britcliffe.

Hyndburn Council leader Coun Britcliffe said: “George was certainly a character and I think it is true to say that George and I had our ups and downs in the council chamber.

“However, no one could dispute his passion both as a councillor and county councillor, to improve the lives of people who live in Hyndburn and particularly Great Harwood.”

Coun Slynn’s successor as Labour group leader in Hyndburn, Coun Ken Curtis, said his friend did have some critics.

He said: “George loved speed humps and has them installed all over the area.

“He was passionate about road safety. But it did not make him popular.”