A popular councillor who was a “champion for the people of South Oxhey” has died.

Councillor Len Tippen was diagnosed with cancer in July and had been doing "really well” after receiving treatment.

But he died on Saturday, aged 70.

Family members and friends have paid tribute to the father-of-two, who represented South Oxhey on Three Rivers District Council for 16 years.

Len’s widow, Caroline Tippen, said: “He was a great dad and grandfather.

“He was a champion for the people of South Oxhey. He really cared about people in the community.

“Len touched the lives of so many people.

“I have had the most wonderful messages of support from people, who were saying he really fought for justice and freedom.”

Mrs Tippen and the pair’s first son, Andrew, described how Cllr Tippen had been to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, where he was quizzed by Prince Philip about the Three Rivers’ chairman’s chains.

On the way home, the family visited the estate in Shepherds Bush where Len grew up and this was a particularly "poignant" moment.

She said: “People were drawn to him and he would talk to anyone. If didn’t matter if it was royalty or Joe Bloggs down the street, he would talk to anyone.

“He was very approachable and really listened to people.”

The pair got married in 1969 and had two children together. But being a grandfather was something he was “made for”, according to Andrew.

The 70-year-old was also very fond of music and and organised charity concerts to raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“He loved playing the guitar and for a few years, we were all in a family band”, Mrs Tippen said.

Caroline and Len first met at a jewellery shop in Ruislip, when Mr Tippen came in to see his sister and reportedly said: “I will marry that girl”.

The pair began travelling around the world and highlights included visiting parts of America known for their music such as Nashville, and going on a paddle steamer down the River Mississippi.

Last year, the pair went to Burma. 

Cllr Stephen Cox, leader of the Three Rivers Labour group, said: “Len was an experienced councillor who was well regarded across the political spectrum.

“He had completed extensive chemotherapy and was looking forward, as were we all, to him recovering.

“His passing was a shock.

“He had been doing his case work and diligently attending meetings as recent as last Monday.

“Always polite, Len could make a political point without incurring ire and will be a loss to the council, the South Oxhey residents who he had served for many years, but most of all his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”