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Ex-regional daily journalist turned councillor dies aged 61

Mike ClarkA former regional daily journalist who went on to serve as a councillor on its patch has died aged 61.

Tributes have been paid to Mike Clark, formerly of the Teesside Gazette, after he lost a short battle with cancer.

He worked as a reporter on the Gazette in the 1980s and early 1990s, before switching to PR to become head of communications for Middlesbrough Council.

During his time at the newspaper, he served as FoC of its National Union of Journalists chapel.

Mike, who died earlier this month, later made the move into politics, and had served as a Labour councillor in Stockton Council’s Grangefield ward since 2011, along with his wife Carol.

He served as chair, vice-chair and member of several of the authority’s committees.

Cllr Ken Dixon, Mayor of Stockton, said: “My thoughts are with Carol and their family at this very sad time. I have had the pleasure of working with Michael for many years.

“He was a lovely man who always had the best interests of residents at heart.”

Cllr Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Council and its Labour group, said: “Our deepest condolences are with Carol and the rest of Michael’s family.

“He was a kind, warm hearted friend and colleague who was held in the highest regard by fellow councillors and council officers alike.

“Michael was devoted to public service and was 100pc committed to serving the Grangefield community. He will be enormously missed.”