TRIBUTES have been paid to former Gloucesteshire councillor and “forthright and loyal” Conservative Diana Edwards who has died at the age of 79.

A minute’s silence was held at the recent meeting of the Forest Council in memory of the district councillor for Pillowell who had a long-term illness.

Cllr Alan Preest (Con, Lydney East) told the council that nobody knew Cllr Edwards better than former council Chair Marrilyn Smart.

He read out a statement written on her behalf which said she first met Diana in 2007 and “you could say we clicked straight away”.

“In 2011, she was re-elected in Newnham and in 2015, due to a small boundary change, she was elected to represent the Pillowell ward.

‘‘From the very start on the council, we all knew she would become a valid member of the Conservative team.

“Forthright in her opinions, she never held back if there was something she didn’t agree with or thought that was wrong.

“During the 12 years on the council, Diana held many roles with distinction.

“I know she will be remembered fondly by many council colleagues and staff past and present for the good work she did.

“She was a loyal supporter of the Forest of Dean Conservative Association.

“Diana will also be remembered by many friends with great affection.

“For me personally, I remember the fun and laughs we had together and, dare I say it, in the council car park after another very trying council meeting.

“I extend to Brian, Alex and family our deep sadness at her passing. How courageous she was in fighting her illness. Her memory will live on forever.”

Chairman Julia Gooch (Progressive Independents, Newent and Taynton) said she received the news of Diana’s death with great sadness. “She served for three terms as a councillor,” she said.

“She was a cabinet member for a number of years and held a number of committee roles. Our thoughts and condolences go to her husband Brian and family.”

Cllr Edwards did not stand in the council election in May 2019 after moving out of the district and following some controversy about her attendance after her illness.