A West Cumbrian councillor and community stalwart has spent 60 years working in local government.

Joe Holliday was presented with a bottle of whiskey at a recent meeting of the county council to mark the milestone.

And the former highways boss, who also serves as a county and borough councillor, is still working despite excruciating pain caused by two prolapsed discs.

The 75-year-old has been in agony since December when he injured his back trying to bring the Christmas tree downstairs – prompting his wife Dorothy to ban the seasonal tradition of putting the tree up in the Holliday household.

He finds it difficult to stand or sit up straight but is often seen at council meetings and continues to work as clerk of Distington Parish Council.

Hard-working Mr Holliday has no plans to retire, adding: “I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

He was employed by Cumbria County Council for 40 years as an area foreman and ended his time with them in 1999.

He became the clerk to two parish councils, taking his time in local council employment to an unbroken 60 years.

Mr Holliday, who serves as a governor for several schools, was elected to serve on Cumbria County Council in 2001 as a Labour councillor.

But he is now an Independent for the St John’s and Great Clifton ward in Workington.

He has also served on several scrutiny panels for Allerdale and Cumbria County Council and councils and on four different Planning Panels.

He was elected to Allerdale in 2007, and became the mayor for 2011-12, serving on the town council from 2015.

After leaving school at 15 Joe served as an apprentice working on the highways from September 1959.

He became a foreman and then went on to become the region’s first re-instatement inspector in 1967, his role to oversee the repair of the roads after they had been dug up by contractors and to issue them with permits.

His final role working on the highways was as Resource Manager for the whole of Allerdale, with 60 men under him.

He said: “The lads now say I was a brilliant boss, the best they have ever had, but they didn’t say that at the time.

“The only underhanded comment was ‘We didn’t know how good you were until you’d gone’.”

One of his happiest moments working on the roads was when his team helped stop dirty water seeping into an old woman’s house through a crack in the drain.

Two months later, he received a phone call asking him to return to the house. He assumed that the repair work had not succeeded but the woman simply wanted to give him a thank you hug.