TRIBUTES have been paid to long-serving Mayor of Cinderford and Forest district councillor Max Coborn following his death.

The former Labour councillor was also a hugely popular figure in his role as Santa for the annual Christmas lights switch-on in the town.

Mr Coborn passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday (June 18) after being diagnosed with cancer.

Former Labour colleague Graham Morgan said: “It is with the deepest sorrow and broken hearts that we learn of the passing of Max Coborn,

“Max was a long standing Council member of Cinderford Town Council, and a District Councillor for Cinderford East.

“He fulfilled these roles with a pride, dignity and sincerity unmatched.

He was a true patriot of Cinderford and was our longest-serving Mayor with an outstanding 13 years of service from 2004 through to 2017 in that role.

He was also Father Christmas to thousands of Cinderford children for many years, not only for Cinderford Town Council but also for St Whites School.

He spent many years as an excellent school governor for Steam Mills School, a role which he always enjoyed with pride, making the School a much safer place by turning it around and creating a car park at the rear of the school which is now classed as the school’s front.

“Max was an all-round builder who could put his hand to anything, building houses all over the Forest of Dean – in some cases labouring to himself and building properties all on his own.

“He was a person who helped guide Cinderford Town Council in many building maintenance issues.

“In his work he was a true perfectionist and in the building trade he was very well respected, his advice in these matters were second to none.

Max was an outstanding rugby player playing for Yorkley where he spent his early years,then playing for Cinderford Rugby Club when his parents became steward and stewardess of the Soldiers & Sailors’ Club.

“When his parents moved across the Forest to Berry Hill, he played for his beloved Berry Hill Rugby Club where he was a local legend to this very day.

However he always had a passion for Cinderford and when his parents moved back to the town he became friends with the late Cllr Frank Beard who got him involved with local government, meeting up with myself, a lifelong friend.

“Together we tried our best to move Cinderford forward, and as you can see by the photo (right) this was done with great pride and passion.

“There are no more words left to say of just how much Max Coborn will be missed in this town.

“However I do know Cinderford is a much finer place for having the benefit of Max Coborn.

“Rest in peace Max, your memory will live for ever in this town.”

Details of Mr Coborn’s funeral will be announced later.