David Ford said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. He was a committed public servant who represented the people of Comber and district on Ards Council for over 36 years.
“He will be sadly missed by all those who knew him and all those who he helped down the years.
“He worked tirelessly to improve community relations in the Ards area and right across Northern Ireland. On behalf of the Alliance Party I would like to pass on my condolences to his wife Jenny and his children.”