'Well respected' Cherwell councillor Carol Steward dies
Councillors in an Oxfordshire district have been paying tribute to a colleague who died earlier.
Carol Steward, a Conservative councillor for the Bicester North ward at Cherwell District Council, had been battling ill health.
Ms Steward, who was in her 60s, was also a school governor at Bicester Community College.
Council leader Barry Wood said she was "well respected" and would be "much missed".
Mr Wood said: "Carol was a personal friend to my wife and I as well as a colleague on the council.
"She had a terrific empathy with people from all walks of life and it was that quality that made her contributions so well respected. She will be much missed."
Bicester town mayor Rose Stratford said: "I have known Carol for almost 20 years, as a friend, a fellow school governor and councillor.
"Carol put her heart into everything she did, and she worked tirelessly even when fighting her health problems.
"She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. We will all miss her bright smile across the council chamber. My heart goes out to her family at this very sad time."
Cherwell's leader of the opposition, Les Sibley, said: "I was sorry to hear of councillor Steward's sad passing as she was a prominent local Bicester Town and Cherwell district councillor for the north ward.
"Carol was a hard-working campaigner who fought for local issues that were important to the people of Bicester and she will be sorely missed by us all."
Ms Steward was elected to Cherwell District Council in May 2007.
She was an active member of the Resources and Performance Scrutiny Board and was also on the Council and Employee Joint Committee, serving as chairman in 2010/11.