Touching tributes have been paid to Rochford District Council's chairman for battling through her year in office despite suffering from a serious illness.

Lib Dem Sylvia Lemon was commended for bravely continuing her work as civic leader in the face of adversity.

At the council's civic dinner in Mill Hall, Rayleigh, which raised £600 for charity, friends spoke of her courage and determination.

Council vice chairman Robin Allen said: "She has put in one hell of an effort. She has had poor health but she has still managed to continue her work.

"She has been a wonderful leader and it has been a privilege to be her vice-chairman."

Chairman's chaplain the Rev David Parrott from Holy Trinity Church added: "She has been very brave and courageous.

"She has been working very hard despite her poor health and for that we are very grateful."

Published Thursday, March 21, 2002