Cllr Abdul Khan was elected unopposed as chairman of Conwy County Borough Council at the authority’s AGM where councillors heard emotional tributes to the late Cllr Dave Cowans.

Two councillors were nominated for the role of vice chair, Cllr Penny Andow (Pandy ward) and Cllr Ifor Lloyd (Betws yn Rhos).

Members voted Cllr Lloyd to be vice-chair by 38 votes to 18 and he will assist Cllr Khan, who represents Glyn ward, in his term of office.

Cllr Khan, who was deputy chair of the council, takes over from Cllr Peter Lewis who held the post for the past two years.

However, it was the emotional tributes to Cllr Cowans which dominated proceedings, with none encapsulating the affection with which he was regarded more than those paid by his friend of almost 50 years, Cllr Bob Squire.

Eirias ward’s Cllr Cowans died peacefully at his home on September 10.

Cllr Squire, who represented Eirias alongside his friend, struggled to hold his emotions in check as he neared the end of his tribute.

He recalled how he had met Cllr Cowans at the former Colwyn Borough Council where they were both officers.

Cllr Squire was asked by his friend to inspect all parks and gardens facilities after a young electrician was electrocuted on a caravan site at Pentre Llyn Cymmer.

He said: “I found numerous contraventions including considerable explosive risk from what was stored.

“We sorted out the problems and as a result became good friends as well as colleagues, which continued until we became fellow councillors for Eirias ward at the last election.

“Dave was a keen climber of some renown having conquered some notable peaks in his lifetime.

“He was always an early riser – early to work, early doors to the pub and early to bed.”

Cllr Squire said his friend even took a paper round in Old Colwyn on one occasion because of his “active personality” and love for early starts.

He described avid Manchester City fan and staunch socialist Cllr Cowans as a well known character in Old Colwyn, who was “always ready for a laugh with anyone”.

He added: “He had an incredibly infectious sense of humour and could make a witty comment out of any situation, which endeared him so much to those who knew him.

“Dave was a really genuine person but you had to get to know him to understand his character and his quirky ways.”

Cllr Squire said all would remember his “great oratories in the chamber” and the “passion with which he delivered them”.

His voice breaking, Cllr Squire ended his tribute by saying: “He will be sorely missed by his family who Dave loved dearly.

“All in all he was a lovely man who lived life to the full.

“We will all miss you Dave, so rest in peace. Diolch yn fawr.”

A minutes silence was called for by outgoing chairman of the council Cllr Peter Lewis.

There were tributes to Cllr Cowans from across the political spectrum and chief executive Iwan Davies noted the affection in which he was held throughout the authority.

Mr Davies said Conwy council’s offices would fly flags at half mast on Friday September 25, the day of Cllr Cowans’ funeral, as a mark of respect.