LEADING city councillor Andy Roberts has died at the age of 74, it has been announced.

The Worcestershire county councillor and Worcester city councillor passed away peacefully at home at the end of last week. 

Cllr Roberts represented Warndon Parish, which covers Warndon Villages, for the county and city councils. 

He was a councillor for more than 20 years and was the cabinet member with responsibility for children and families.

He is survived by his beloved wife Frances, whom he married in 1974, and their two children, Wayne and Victoria, and granddaughter Kim.

Worcester News: REMEMBERED: Councillor Andy RobertsREMEMBERED: Councillor Andy Roberts

Worcestershire County Council leader Simon Geraghty described him as "serving our local community throughout his whole adult life, both through his work and during his retirement".

“Our deepest sympathies remain with Andy’s family at this devastating time," Councillor Geraghty said.

“It is with the greatest sadness that we have lost a dedicated and respected cabinet member, active local councillor and for me personally, a dear friend.

“Throughout his long career with the fire service, to more than 20 years as a local county councillor and various other voluntary roles, Andy served our local community throughout his whole adult life, both through his work and during his retirement.

"He championed the needs to children and families and gave a lifetime of service to Worcestershire.

“I am immensely grateful for his leadership of children’s services during a challenging period over the last six years and thankful that he managed to see this transformation rightly recognised by Ofsted in their most recent inspection report published in July achieving a ‘Good’ outcome.

“Andy’s thoughtful, measured and considered contributions will very much be missed by cabinet, by council and by the wider community in which he engaged so actively in and had such a positive impact on.”

Councillor Roberts was born in Worcester and was the youngest of four children.

He was educated locally at St Clement’s Primary School and Christopher Whitehead School for Boys.

He played rugby for Worcester Rugby Colts and went on to win honours with Hereford and Worcestershire and West Midlands Rugby Team (under 19 and 21 age groups).

In 1965, at the age of 16, he joined Worcester City and County Fire Service as a cadet Junior Fireman.

Worcester News: TRIBUTES: Andy Roberts has died at the age of 74TRIBUTES: Andy Roberts has died at the age of 74

In what is described as an ‘unprecedented achievement’, he retired 37 years later as Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

Councillor Roberts became a volunteer and driver for patients at St Richard’s Hospice, alongside his wife, and also engaged in many roles for the hospice, being honoured by being appointed to the Council of Governors.

He was first elected to the County Council in 2001 and represented Claines until 2005. 

He was then elected to serve Warndon Parish from 2009.

He was appointed cabinet member for education on the county council in 2004 and also, in 2009, was elected Mayor of Worcester.

In 2016 he was appointed cabinet member with responsibility for commissioning and transformation at Worcestershire County Council.

The following year, in 2017, he was appointed lead member for children and families, committing himself to championing the needs of children and families across the county.

Councillor Roberts was instrumental in help lead improvements in children’s services over the six-year period culminating in children’s services being recognised by Ofsted as ‘Good’ with the leadership, of which he was part of, also rated as ‘Good’ overall.

He served as a Governor of Lyppard Grange Primary School and Northwick Manor Junior School, as well as Chair of Governors of Riverside School. 

Councillor Roberts was also chairman of the Worcester Leg Club for 15 years which sought to minimise people’s social isolation and provide a sense of community belonging.

He was a lifelong environmentalist and was proud to enable people in his community to get involved in enhancing biodiversity and access projects.

At the time of his passing, Councillor Roberts was also Chairman of the County Council’s corporate parenting board and a member of both the Health and Wellbeing Board and Joint Museums Committee.

A Worcestershire Council Council spokesperson has said Cllr Geraghty will cover the role of cabinet member for children and families until a new appointment is made by him in due course.