Coun Wilmott (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North on Ashfied District Council, worked with Jim, who represented Hucknall Central for the Independents on several projects and was a close friend for decades.
Jim died last Sunday after a brave battle with cancer.
Coun Wilmott praised Jim’s entrepreneurial spirit, which led to the creation of Hucknall’s Food and Drink Festival, his push to regenerate Hucknall town centre and for working for improvements to Hucknall Leisure Centre.
He said: “The death of Jim Blagden came as a shock to us all – he was an excellent councillor in Hucknall for many years.
"Jim was chief whip on the council for years and in his later years as a leading member of the Ashfield Independents in Hucknall.
"He was always first to arrive at any council meeting , leading from the front and always putting Hucknall’s residents first.
Jim will be sadly missed and my thoughts go out to Sheila and the family.
“Jim was one of the leading members to set up the Covid Committee and worked tirelessly to help residents during the pandemic.
"Jim helped residents and the council with many problems that Covid-19 threw at us.
"He organised some benches to be made to commemorate all those NHS workers who gave their lives to save others and one will be placed at the miner’s statue in the heart of Hucknall.
“Jim’s last public engagement was the 100th Anniversary of Titchfield Park on June 18.
"Despite his illness, he was still full of ideas of how we could improve Hucknall.
"He was proud of the improvements at our leisure centre and was regularly updated on our new second swimming pool.
"He was looking forward to the next Food and Drink Festival in Hucknall on Sunday on August 21 and we will be raising a glass of local brew in his memory that day.
“Jim also used his considerable experience to help other councillors when they needed it – he was a good listener.
"A keen supporter of Nottingham Forest, it is a pity he will not see them perform in the Premier League this season.
“Jim was also an excellent artist painting pictures of animals and portraits of people and enjoyed painting landscapes.
"Jim loved his family and always seemed to have family members visiting and I used to enjoy visiting him for a chat.
"He will be missed by so many, especially in Hucknall.”