COUNCILLORS paid tribute to former Mayor of Dudley and retired Amblecote councillor Pat Martin at last night’s full council meeting.

The stalwart Tory politician, who served on Dudley Council for 15 years, died last week after a short battle with dementia.

She was 78.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, described her as a “great lady” and a “great councillor” and “someone who also had a fantastic sense of humour” after a minute’s silence was held in the council chamber as a mark of respect.

He said she was “immensely proud” to be honoured as the borough’s first female Honorary Alderman in 2015 shortly after retiring as a councillor that year and he added: “She’ll be greatly missed.”

Pat served as Mayor of Dudley in 2009/10 with her late husband Bill at her side as her consort.

During her time in office she was also the council’s cabinet member for personnel, legal and property and a key figure on numerous council committees.

After losing her beloved Bill a few years ago and stepping down from the council her health declined and she died last Wednesday (November 29) at Red Brick Court Care Home, Wordsley, where she had spent her final months.

Councillors across the political divide took turns to pay tributes to Pat at Dudley Council House on Monday – with Conservative colleague Michael Evans praising her “an exceptional member of this chamber" and Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of Dudley's Labour Party, saying she would be “sorely missed”.

Councillor David Vickers, deputy leader of the council, described her as "true blue" and told how she would dye her hair in party political colours on election day; and how she broke a world record in welly wanging at Lye Carnival and he added: "She was very proud of that."

Meanwhile – long-time friend and former Amblecote councillor colleague Liz Walker described Pat as an "amazing ward councillor" and a “brilliant Mayor” and Wollaston and Stourbridge Town councillor Nic Barlow told the News: "She was a very good cabinet member and a real ambassador for Dudley.

"She will be a great loss to people that knew her."

In her younger years - Pat had served on North Bedfordshire Borough Council from 1974 to 1983 and she was Mayor of Kempson in Bedfordshire for two consecutive years.

A qualified teacher – she also served as deputy headmistress of an English speaking school in Gran Canaria until she retired to Stourbridge.

Pat is survived by two children from her first marriage - Simon and Lyndsey.

Her funeral will be held on Thursday December 14 at 12.45pm at Holy Trinity Church, Amblecote, followed by private cremation and a reception at Holy Trinity Church Hall.