Tributes are being made to a former councillor and the last chairman of the Cumbria Police Authority.

Conservative candidate for the May 2017 elections, Chris Whiteside, last night led tributes to Mr Cole who is understood to have passed away yesterday morning.

Mr Cole represented Millom's Newton ward and was well-known for his activities within both politics and policing, having chaired Cumbria Police Authority before the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Conservative councillor, who served on Millom Town Council and Copeland Borough Council, was also a director of South Copeland Tourism.

Paying tribute, Mr Whiteside said: "Ray was a really great guy, a man of enormous integrity and one of the nicest people I ever met.

"Before becoming involved in politics he had been a police officer and I understand he had been the police inspector in charge of Millom and South Copeland.

"Ray served as a Millom Town Councillor, and as a Copeland Borough Councillor, and represented Newtown ward on both those authorities at the time of his death. He had also previously been county councillor for Millom and Haverigg.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nadine and their family.

"Millom, Copeland, and Cumbria have lost a great servant."