Ashfield District Council Chairman Coun Anthony Brewer (right) who died from coronavirus aged 74. Credit: Ashfield District Council

Tributes have been paid during a council’s first virtual annual general meeting (AGM) to a much-loved Nottinghamshire councillor who died after contracting coronavirus.

Anthony “Captain” Brewer, 74, was a member of the Ashfield Independent Party and ward councillor for Skegby.

He had been chairman of Ashfield District Council (ADC) since May 2019.

ADC ran its first virtual AGM on Thursday (April 23) with members using the video call service Zoom.

His former colleagues held a minute’s silence during the meeting while photos of Coun Brewer were shown on the live feed.

ADC leader and councillor Jason Zadrozny (Larwood, Ashfield Independents), led the emotional tributes, he said: “Obviously this meeting in tinged with great sadness about councillor Brewer.

“We’ve not just lost a member of the Ashfield Independent Group, we’ve not just lost a colleague, most of us have lost a friend we have known for a very long time.

“He cared about doing great community work, he was so modest he never thought to mention all the things he’d had done.

“It beggars belief to me that he is gone.”

Several councillors fought back tears as paid their respects to Coun Brewer who was affectionately known as Captain.

Coun Daniel Williamson (Kirkby Cross and Portland, Ashfield Independents) added: “How do you pay tribute to a man like Tony Brewer?”

“I could pay tribute to his tireless work at the council, his pride in representing not just the people in Skegby but in Ashfield as a whole.

“He was so proud to be nominated to be vice-chair and then chair of this council.”

First elected in 2015 as ward councillor for Skegby, Coun Brewer stood a second time and was re-elected in the local elections in 2019.

A statement released by ADC when he died on April 7 read: “Coun Brewer had a passion for helping people, he wore his heart on his sleeve and nothing was ever too much trouble ensuring that the voices of the people of Skegby and Ashfield were heard.

“He served as a volunteer at the Welcome Treatment Centre at King’s Mill Hospital for many years.

“He served refreshments to patients whilst they were receiving their treatment for cancer, a cause which was very close to his heart.”

His funeral was due to be held later this week.

Watch the tributes here in the meeting livestream from 1:01:00