TRIBUTES have continued to flood in for a “larger than life” politician who died at the age of 74.

Former Essex County Council chairman Rodney Bass died on Tuesday following a battle with lung cancer.

Mr Bass was an honorary alderman at County Hall after serving on the authority for 20 years, including as highways boss.

He also served as a member of Maldon Council for 40 years and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List in 2017 for his service to local government.

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Rodney Bass OBE with Witham MP Priti Patel

Chairman of Essex County Council John Jowers has led the tributes to Mr Bass.

He said: “Rodney was my colleague on the cabinet, and was a remarkable politician, public speaker, and above all, a champion for his community and Essex. He was a larger than life character in every sense and fiercely committed to his role.

"He will be greatly missed and our sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Mr Bass in the Essex County Council Chamber

Council leader David Finch added: “Rodney was a unique character and as a politician was a formidable presence, always determined to prevail, always certain of his position, his views on policy and how things should be run.

"Much like Margaret Thatcher, one of his political heroes, he was not for turning.”

Outside of public life, Mr Bass was heavily involved with Essex Freemasons and had been Provincial Grand Master of Essex since 2015.

Under his leadership the group donated thousands of pounds to good causes and set up a new Essex Freemasons Community Fund.

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Rodney Bass was a former chairman of Essex County Council 

Paul Reeves, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, said: “Rodney Bass was a great man and a pleasure to be with. He will be very much missed by our 9,000 members in Essex.

“Since he was appointed in 2015 he has transformed Freemasonry in Essex, instilling a spirit of openness and ensuring our members worked to make a difference in their communities.

“In April last year he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but he did not allow it to slow-up his commitment to Essex and Essex Freemasonry, a commitment which was only cut short by the sudden deterioration of his condition.”

Read more >>> Tribute paid to former Essex Highways boss Rodney Bass