By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Tributes have been paid to a “passionate” Mansfield councillor after his sudden death from a suspected heart attack.
Councillor Vaughan Hopewell (Mans Ind) had represented the Oak Tree ward on the authority since May 2011 before his death on Saturday (June 18).
Mansfield District Council made the announcement on Monday and confirmed he was out with his family at the time. The council added he was a “much-respected and active” community councillor.
Cllr Hopewell was a member of many of the authority’s current committees, including the overview and scrutiny group for place, the joint consultative committee, the charter trustees and the constitution working group.
Cllr Mick Barton, leader of Cllr Hopewell’s Mansfield Independents group, paid tribute to his colleague and described him as a “valued member” of the group.
He said: “We are so shocked about the death of our valued friend and fellow councillor Vaughan Hopewell.
“He was passionate about his community and cared for his constituents. I’ve known Vaughan for more than 20 years and he was a valued member of our group, he always put other people first and loved his family dearly.”
Cllr Hopewell worked for the Jigsaw Support Scheme, a Mansfield charity providing services for vulnerable people.
He was nominated for an upcoming award out of 250 supporters for the charity and, during his work with the organisation, produced a song to raise money – meaning he was known by many as the “singing councillor”.
Andy Abrahams, Mansfield’s Labour mayor, said: “Vaughan was a community champion dedicated to being a ward councillor and supporting local people.
“He was immensely proud to serve his community and did his utmost to help people. He’ll be sorely missed by the council.”
Mansfield District Council says details of Cllr Hopewell’s funeral are expected to be confirmed next week.
His death comes just days after councillors in Newark and Sherwood paid tribute to another councillor in neighbouring Edwinstowe and Clipstone, Conservative councillor Michael Brown.