TRIBUTES have been paid to Elizabeth Mills who was a "fierce fighter for all the causes dear to her heart."

Local politicians have been paying their respects to the former Mayor of Stourport, district and county councillor, hailing her "exceptional contribution" to local government.

Chairman of Wyre Forest District Council Fran Oborski issued a statement on behalf of the council which said: "The passing of honorary alderman Mrs Elizabeth Mills MBE is a sad event for Wyre Forest District Council and the town of Stourport in particular.

"On behalf of all serving and former councillors and staff, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

"Liz Mills gave very distinguished service to local government over a period of almost half a century. I had the privilege of seeing at first hand her passionate commitment to social housing, she was simply a fantastic chairman of the housing committee.

"I never met anyone with greater loyalty to the community she served and the projects she believed in rather than to any political party.

"She was that rare creature, a self-confident person who had the courage and common sense to work with anyone and everyone across the political landscape to achieve whatever was best for her beloved Stourport but more particularly a shining example of how one person striving honestly over a whole lifetime of service can genuinely make a difference.

"She was a true friend to everyone who knew her.

"She was a fierce fighter for all the causes dear to her heart. Campaigning alongside her was exhilarating. As an opponent she was, at times, quite terrifying.

"My late husband, councillor Mike Oborski and I had the privilege of knowing Liz not only as a respected political opponent, but also as a dear friend and I will personally never forget the lovely letter she sent to me on Mike’s death.

"Amongst her other attributes, Liz had a quite mischievous and often wicked sense of humour.

"With her death, Wyre Forest has lost a fantastic lady whose lifetime of public service will never be bettered.”

Conservative district councillor Stephen Clee, who organised a black tie dinner for Mrs Mills' 100th birthday when he was chairman of the council, said: "Mrs Mills has finally hung up her hat and it is a very sad day for local government in this district.

"We have lost one of the greatest local ladies to serve us in our community. She was a thoroughbred, from the highest order.

"She was a wonderful youthful lady that made people half her age shrink at her workload."