He joined the old City Council in 1968 and went on to serve in the Wakefield North ward of the metropolitan authority between 1984 and 2010, sitting on 14 committees.
The youngest of three brothers, he was brought up in Normanton by his mother, following the death of his father when he was just a week old.
After school, he went down the pit but later turned to the construction industry, eventually becoming an engineer for the National Coal Board.
In the late 1960s, he was called to the bench and is thought to have been one of the youngest magistrates in the country.
He is survived by his wife Betty, herself a representative for Wakefield North, and daughter, Lynn.