A CLACTON councillor and community stalwart has died, aged 87.

Mrs Downing, from Diana Way, died on Friday. She had previously suffered a stroke and was being cared for by St Helena Hospice.

She was a former chairman of the Clacton Conservative Association and had represented Clacton’s St James’ ward for ten years.

Her Conservative colleagues have paid tribute to her as a stalwart of the town.

Friend and Clacton councillor Danny Mayzes said: “Gill remained committed to being a councillor to the very end, even attending a council meeting only a few weeks ago.

“This is a true testament to what her residents and Clacton meant to her and the service she gave was certainly second to none.

“She was a bubbly, genuine and extremely likeable person, always wearing her trademark smile and making others happy."

Mrs Downing was born in Walthamstow on September 16, 1925, but spend most of her life in Buckhurst Hill before retiring to Clacton.

She was also a governor at Alton Park Primary School and her hobbies included reading and gardening.