TRIBUTES have been paid across the political spectrum to a former mayor of Burnley who has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Coun Tony Lambert, who represented Trinity ward, was a ‘fantastic bloke’ who earned wide-ranging respect for his civic role.

The ex-policeman, 72, of Ravenoak Lane, Worsthorne, was the borough’s first citizen in 2010-11 and as deputy mayor 12 months earlier he had filled in for party colleague Coun John Harbour during his throat cancer fight.

He leaves his wife Brenda, a son and two daughters. Funeral details have yet to be announced.

Coul Lambert was also a member of Worsthorne Parish Council, where he had regularly served as chairman, and a governor at Holy Trinity School.

Former MP Peter Pike, chairman of Burnley Labour Party, said: “He was a very well-liked and active local councillor in Trinity ward where he was always working to tackle problems and make Burnley a better place in which to live.

“My thoughts are very much with his wife Brenda at this sad time and I extend my sincere sympathy and condolences to her and the family.”

Coun Charlie Briggs, Liberal Democrat group leader and a close family friend, said: “My heart goes out to Brenda and all the family. Tony was a fantastic bloke. He was a very brave man who bore his illness very well. It just very unfortunate it has taken him at this time.”

Coun Ida Carmichael, the Conservative group leader, was elected to the borough council in May 1998 for the first time alongside Coun Lambert.

She added: “It was a privilege to work with him — I proposed him when he became mayor and that was an honour. He was a friend and that makes this even harder.”

Coun Lambert’s death comes just days after it was announced that another former mayor, Denis Otter, had died at his home in North Wales.