GLOWING tributes have been paid to a veteran councillor who died last weekend, without being able to fulfil her dream of taking up her place as Mayor of Hyndburn.
Councillor Edith Dunston, 82, was the borough's Mayor-in-waiting but had been unable to take up the role after suffering a stroke in April this year.
She had been making a good recovery but suffered a second stroke last week and died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital on Saturday.
Mrs Dunston, a Labour Party member, of Fairfield Street, Accrington, had worked in the textile industry and as a nursery nurse before her retirement in 1982, a year after the death of her husband Christopher.
She was elected as a councillor representing the Spring Hill ward in 1998 and had served on many committees since then.
She had been nominated as Mayor for the municipal year 2006-7 but was unable to take up the post due to ill health, which led to Councillor Mohammed Rahman taking it over on a temporary basis, a situation that was set to be reviewed in September if Councillor Dunston was well enough to step in.
Councillor Rahman will now serve as Mayor for the rest of the municipal year.
Labour group leader Councillor Graham Jones said: "Edith was a vibrant, energetic and tenacious member of the council who was always willing to help people in Spring Hill, and Hyndburn, in any way possible.
"She devoted much of her time to the council. She was a remarkable character and this is a terrible moment and leaves us all with an empty feeling.
"To be this year's Mayor of Hyndburn was Edith's dream. She wanted to give so much back to the community and had planned her Mayoral year ahead."
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "Edith was really looking forward to being the Mayor and it is so sad she has passed away without fulfilling that ambition. Edith was a lovely lady and well-liked by all councillors and people in her Spring Hill ward."
She leaves a son, also called Christopher, daughter-in-law Humera, and a grandson, David, as well as a brother, Bob, nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be at St James Church, Accrington, at 12.30pm today, conducted by the Rev Henry Dickenson, followed by burial at Accrington Cemetery.