A HARD-working and dedicated councillor has passed away after losing her long battle against cancer.

Cath Hill was the only cabinet member to serve the entire time Stuart Drummond was Mayor of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Today (Sunday, February 2), he led tributes to the independent Seaton councillor who had a passion for children’s welfare.

Mr Drummond, who was Hartlepool Mayor for 11 years until May last year, said: “I’m absolutely devastated by the news but, sadly, she had been poorly for a long time. I saw her just before Christmas and she was still fighting hard, as you expect from Cath.

“I’m sure she was the only councillor to serve in my cabinet from the day I started until the day I left – she was extremely loyal.

“She had a particular passion about issues that affected children and young people and was never afraid to speak her mind, she certainly put me in my place on a number of occasions.

“She was a feisty character, but she was always a pleasure to work with.”

Last week, council members unanimously agreed to extend a period of leave for the much-respected councillor who had been unable to attend meetings due to ill-health.