TRIBUTES have been paid to Ryedale district councillor Judith Denniss, who has died after a long illness.

She was elected as a Conservative member for the Norton West Ward in last year’s elections.

Coun Denniss was also a member of Norton Town Council.

Coun Linda Cowling, deputy leader of the Conservative group at Ryedale House, said: “Her death is very sad because Judith worked extremely hard for people in Norton.

“Although she had only been on the council since May 2011, she had already proved that she was a councillor with considerable potential. She will be sadly missed and difficult to replace because she was so popular and hard-working.”

Di Keal, mayor of Norton, said: “It is with great sadness that we heard about Judith’s death and on behalf of members of Norton-on- Derwent Town Council, I would like to send heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Mike and their family.

“Judith was an incredibly hard-working member of the council and even when she became ill, continued to try to attend the occasional meeting and represent the community.

“We have lost a dedicated and conscientious member of the council and a friend to so many local people.”