Tributes have been paid to Welwyn East councillor Steven Markiewicz after he passed away due to a long illness on Thursday.

First elected in 2004, Cllr Markiewicz was one of WHBC's longest-serving councillors.

He had many roles over the years including Lead Member for Strategic Projects, and Chairman of both Grants and Resources Overview and Scrutiny committees. He also served for four years as a Hertfordshire County Councillor.

A longstanding vocal and active supporter of Welwyn Hatfield Citizens Advice Bureau, Cllr Markiewicz was a trustee on their board for more than 15 years. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer at the Gateway Club in Hatfield, a charity activity club for people with learning disabilities.

Steven’s family said: “There is only one word to describe him. Unique. Everything he did was to benefit others.

"His compassion and courage when fighting for what he believed in was why we always looked up to him and sought his guidance."

Leader of the Council, Cllr Tony Kingsbury, said: “It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Steven, a colleague and friend of a great many years.

"A real character at meetings of the Council, he was well known for his colourful wardrobe and passionate, equally colourful speeches."

Cllr Kieran Thorpe, Leader of the Opposition, said: “The Labour Group is incredibly sad to hear of Steve’s passing. He was an exceptional character who made swashbuckling contributions to council debates and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”

Cllr Paul Zukowskyj, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: "The council has lost a funny, compassionate and unique individual with Steve's passing, and I know The Gateway Club has lost a key supporter and long-time helper."

As a mark of respect, the Welwyn Hatfield borough flag will fly at half-mast outside the council offices today, Monday October 25. Anyone who knew Steven is invited to add a message of remembrance to an online book of condolence available at