FORMER Alcester mayor and community champion Eric Payne who died last year has been honoured with a prestigious award.

Eric, who lived in Alcester all his life and who died on October 10 last year following a short illness, was posthumously given a special accolade at the Pride of Stratford District Awards.

Born in Bleachfield Street, he was the third of seven children, and was educated at St Faiths School.

He spent most of his working life working in local light industry and food distribution employed as a production operator and held several managerial positions during that time.

He was a councillor for Alcester Town Council for more than 16 years during which time he was town mayor on two occasions - proving to be incredibly popular.

He served as chairman of the district council between 2011 and 2012 and during his time on the district council was vice-chairman of overview and scrutiny committee and served on planning committee (West).

Throughout his career in politics he has been called a true gentle man and thought of as highly respected.

At the time of his death councillor Andrew Foster, mayor of Alcester, said: "He was an ever present figure in the town, always out and about talking to people, supporting and helping the community that he loved."

The awards, held last month, celebrate the best achievements in business and the community.