TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Adur councillor who has died at the age of 45.
Darren Burns served as a Conservative district councillor for Southlands ward between 2010 and 2014.
His former colleagues have expressed their shock and sadness over his death.
Adur District Council chairman Carson Albury said: “On behalf of all the councillors and officers at Adur District Council I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of former councillor Darren Burns, whose sudden passing was announced this week.
“Councillor Darren Burns dedicated over four years of public service to the residents of Adur and his hard work and dedication to the people and the district will be long remembered and appreciated by many.“
Buckingham ward councillor Emma Evans went to school with Mr Burns.
She recalled fond early memories of him, as well as serving alongside him on the council.
She said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of my childhood friend, Darren. I have many happy memories of school holidays spent in and around Southwick with him in the late 70s early 80s.
“Our paths crossed once again when he joined the council on his return to Sussex, having spent many years living in the City. He will be greatly missed.”
Adur leader Neil Parkin knew Mr Burns well and paid tribute to him as a ‘charming man’.
He said: “I knew him very well because he first helped me get elected when he was 17. At 18 he went to university and I didn’t see him for another 20 years.
“He was a very clever and very charming man who would do anything for anybody. It is very sad.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced but the news was confirmed on social media by Mr Burns’s family.
Former councillor Mike Mendoza said his friend took his role of councillor ‘very seriously’ and always turned up for regular street surgeries.
He added: “Darren was always around his ward talking to people and passing on constituents concerns. He was a regular member of the planning committee.
“Despite his mobility problems he always managed to turn up to the street surgery in Shoreham regardless of the weather.”