A BOOK of condolances is available for tributes after West Berkshire Council's leader died from the car crash which took his wife last month.

The Chronicle revealed Councillor Roger Croft accidentally drove on the wrong side of a country lane in February while visiting his son in France.

Cllr Croft was rushed to hospital with serious injuries following the fatal collision, while his wife Grizelda, known to friends and family as Zelda, sadly died.

He died from his injuries on Friday at the age of 68, five weeks after the horrific crash.

Graham Jones will take on the role of acting leader and Hilary Cole will step in as deputy leader.

It is expected that a new leader will be elected in the next couple of months. 

Today, councillors began signing a book of condolances to pay their respects to Cllr Croft. The book is available at the council's offices and will be passed on to the family.

Reading Chronicle:

Cllr Hilary Cole signed the book this morning.

A spokesman for the council said: "West Berkshire Council is deeply saddened to announce the death of Councillor Roger Croft.

"Roger was involved in an accident while travelling to visit family in France five weeks ago.

"His wife, Zelda, died in the accident and Roger had been in hospital in France being treated for serious injuries.

"Unfortunately he was unable to recover and he died on Friday evening.

"The thoughts of everyone at West Berkshire Council are with the Croft family and friends at this very difficult time."

Reading Chronicle:

The couple had been in France visiting their son Malcolm, who lives near the historic-town of Laon, around 90 miles north of Paris.

He was first elected to represent Thatcham South & Crookham in the 2011 local elections.

Councillor Graham Jones, acting leader of West Berkshire Council said: "When Roger got elected in 2011, we quickly realised he had a huge amount to offer and he rapidly progressed to be an executive member then to deputy leader and leader.  

Nick Carter, chief executive of West Berkshire Council added: "I will remember Roger for his energy, drive and vision.

"He was the architect behind the current Council Strategy and at the time of his passing was playing a lead role in exploring a range of new income opportunities for the Council.

"He worked at a great pace and could be difficult to keep up with such was his desire to get things done.

"We will all miss his energy, his real passion for serving the communities here in West Berkshire and of course his friendship and humour.”

"There is much of what I know he wanted to achieve left undone which we will finish in his memory."