A FORMER councillor who served his community for almost 50 years has died, aged 80.

Charles Wraith MBE, better known to many as Charlie, was a ward councillor in Cudworth for 49 years before retiring earlier this year due to ill health.

First elected in 1974, Charlie has served on numerous committees and eight governing bodies. He was also chair of the Licensing Board for 12 years, a role he particularly loved.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “Charlie served his community for almost 50 years after being elected in 1974. He was a big character in his ward area and at our council meetings, where he was never short of something to say.

“He also represented the whole borough in his year as Mayor from 1997 to 1998 – a particularly special one as Barnsley was in the Premier League, and he enjoyed his ambassadorial role representing Barnsley in our twin towns.

“I know that one of Charlie’s proudest achievements was being made MBE in 2013 when he visited Buckingham Palace with his much-loved wife, Marilyn.

In fact, he met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II five times, including attending two royal garden parties and a lunch event at Barnsley Town Hall.

“Locally, his tireless community work was also recognised with a Proud of Barnsley Award with Cudworth Environmental Group as Chair of the group.

“I was honoured to be able to see Charlie recognised for his work and his years of dedication at Full Council earlier this year, as he became the first recipient of the council’s Distinguished Service Award.

“It was a special presentation where he was given a medal and gift by The Mayor of Barnsley to recognise his sustained and outstanding service during his period of office and celebrate the positive impact that he made on both the Council and his local community.

“Charlie was a close friend and much-valued fellow Cudworth ward councillor. He will be greatly missed by us all.”

His funeral will be held on Friday, December 22 at St Paul’s Church, Monk Bretton, at 11.30am.