JILL Fairbrother-Millis, Wyre Forest district councillor for Lickhill, has died of breast cancer this morning, aged 68.

She had served as an Independent Community and Health Concern councillor since 2002 and party leader, Howard Martin, said the town would be “a poorer place without her now she’s gone”.

He added: “Jill was her own woman but she was a woman of the people. She did exactly what she thought was right and she wasn’t influenced by other people telling her not do what she did.

“She was extremely well-liked by everyone in all the parties and by everyone who met her. Jill was a little different and we will miss her dearly.”

Mrs Fairbrother-Millis was diagnosed with breast cancer in May, 2007, on the same day her husband, David Millis, was elected as an Independent Community and Health Concern councillor for Mitton.

“It was awful,” Mr Millis said. “Among the elation there was this devastating news but she bravely carried on in the knowledge she may only last another two years.”

She went into remission after undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy but was told by doctors last month that the disease had come back.

Refusing chemotherapy, she opted for palliative care and “treated her last days as a project”, said Mr Millis.

He explained: “She didn’t want chemotherapy as it was so awful last time and she felt absolutely dreadful and spent most of her time in hospital.

“She chose palliative care and programmed herself to arrange all the things she needed to do.”

In April, Mrs Fairbrother-Millis helped raise more than £1,000 for the Millbrook Suite, the cancer unit at Kidderminster Hospital where she was treated, and attended the opening of Stourport Sports Club only three weeks ago.

“She was adamant she was going to get there as it was so important to her,” added Mr Millis.

Before becoming a district councillor in 2002 and a Worcestershire county councillor in 2005, Mrs Fairbrother-Millis worked as a careers officer at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Mr Millis said she was inspired to get into politics as she was “really upset with the situation at Kidderminster Hospital”.

He added: “It wasn't about a single issue with her, though. Once she was in the political arena it was her constituency that was important, not the fripperies of scrutiny committee meetings.”

John Campion, Conservative leader of the district council, said: “On behalf of the council I want to pay tribute to the fantastic work that Jill did for Stourport and Wyre Forest.

“Jill was a local champion and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with David at this sad time.”