IT is the end of an era for Moreton Town Council after one of its longest-serving councillors stepped down after 31 years of service.

Rod Hooper, who had served as chairman at least three times and also as vice-chairman for several years, bid farewell to members last month.

Mr Hooper, who is in his 70s and was born and bred in Moreton, moved in to a new bungalow last week in Bourton with his wife.

But he is continuing in his role as Cotswold District Council ward member for Moreton, as a trustee of the Fields in Trust National Playing Field, in London Road, and the Moreton Charitable Trust, where he has just been elected as chairman.

Clerk Heather Sipthorp, who has worked with Mr Hooper on the council for the last 10 years, said his departure had already left a big hole.

"Rod was an excellent councillor and had the town at his heart and strove to make it the place it is today," she said. "He will be sorely missed because of his knowledge of the town. That will leave a big gap.

"It's a town he was born and bred and loved the town and cared for the town. It was always about protecting the town and protecting the residents."

Over the years Mr Hooper was on the council, he served chairman of the parks and amenities committee, represented the council as a governor of St David's School and was heavily involved in flood alleviation work.

He was also very involved with the relocation of the bowling club, representing the council when it relocated to the former Redesdale Place allotments.

Chairman Ali Coggins said his knowledge would be much missed.

"He was completely passionate about this town from every angle," she said. "He just cared about it and had a great attention to detail.

"I found him a great person to learn from because he would ask questions and ask ask awkward questions and would want to find out the whole picture to be able to response in the right way for the town."