Former mayor David Breacker, who died alone at Tregaer Flats in Falmouth, was offered help and support from others living in the sheltered housing the complex, but rejected their help.

Other residents of the Cornwall Housing run accommodation in Melvill Road had reached out to Mr Breacker during the four months he lived there, but respected his wish for privacy.

The complex has an active tenants' association which organises various social events such as film nights, coach trips, bingo sessions and communal Sunday lunches every fortnight - all of which Mr Breacker was invited to be a part of, as are people from the wider community.

Mike Bradley, association secretary, said: “We offered him all the facilities that we have here, but he did not want to get involved. There are always people who do not want to get involved and we respect that.”

Resident John Miller, who had been a friend of Mr Breacker's for over ten years through the Labour Party, said: “He wanted a simple life. He had his radio and as long as he could listen to the cricket he was happy - he would wake up at 2am to listen to it from Australia. I would call in to see him because I knew him and he was great. Being mayor, he always wanted to help people.”

Chairman Terry Houghton added: “People know where we are if they need us. We have another tenant here and since she moved in she has kept herself to herself. If we do not see them around, we knock on their doors to make sure they are OK. The only time I saw David was every Tuesday when we was waiting for his carer to come in. He did keep himself to himself.”

The association is proud of its activity programme and its fundraising which has seen around £17,000 donated through grants from the likes of the People's Health Lottery, the Big Lottery Fund, Cornwall Community Foundation and the Workhouse Trust.

The money has bought tables and chairs, computers and printers and equipment for the communal kitchen which received the highest hygiene rating when inspected by Cornwall Council earlier this year.

The complex has 22 flats which are home to three couples and 19 individuals who are aged between 60 and their early 90s. “It's a buzzing little community,” said Mr Bradley.