The sudden death last night of former mayor and leading council cabinet member Jesse Grey has left his family, friends and colleagues shocked and distressed.

Cllr Grey lived in Montagu Road, Datchet and was the village's representative on the Royal Borough. 

His fellow Datchet councillor Gary Muir said this morning he had lost his best friend of almost 40 years standing - dating back to when they worked in the middle east.

He said: "Jesse was an enginer and I ran facilities at the hospital in Saudi Arabia.

"He was my mentor on the council when we both came to live in Datchet.

"He was a family man and a loving grandfather."

Cllr Grey's death has come as a shock to everyone - coming only a week after a council meeting where he appeared as healthy and energetic as ever.

He had been expected to stand as a candidate for newly merged wards of Datchet and Horton/Wraysbury at the next council elections in 2019.

A meeting of the flood liaison group meeting which he chaired was due to take place this evening but has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council described him as a passionate public servant who had served as a councillor for the Royal Borough for over 18 years.

He served as mayor during 2009/10 and had been a cabinet member for communities and culture - more recently a cabinet member for environmental services, parking and flooding.

Cllr Dudley said: “Cllr Grey was a committed councillor and worked tirelessly to support his constituents across the Datchet ward. His enthusiasm, dedication and commitment will be deeply missed by all.

“On behalf of everyone at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Cllr Grey’s family and friends, including his wife Christine who served with him during his mayoral year as Mayoress, his children, Angela and Martin and his beloved grandchildren Jack, Anna, Eva, Ella and Isabella.

“A further announcement with funeral arrangements will be made in due course.”