Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a "true independent" who served as a councillor in Cornwall for more 30 years.
Cornwall Council yesterday announced the death of Pam Lyne, who represented St Keverne and Meneage in West Cornwall.
She was elected to Kerrier District Council at its inception in 1974 and served as a county councillor after being elected in 1985.
Fellow councillors said while "witty and generous" she was formidable in the council chamber.
Pat Harvey, the chairman of Cornwall Council, said: "I was always impressed by Pam's determination to fight for her constituents and for what she saw as fair and reasonable, even in the face of strong opposition.
"She was a true independent, an excellent councillor and good company. She was dedicated to planning issues which were very close to her heart and also played a great part in the transition to the unitary authority, also she will be remembered for her dry sense of humour.
"Her passing is a great loss to the council, to Cornwall and to democracy."
Mrs Lyne, a former independent group leader, held a number of senior roles and served on the implementation executive which oversaw the transition from the six districts and county council to the unitary authority.
Council leader Alec Robertson added: "Everyone is shocked and saddened to hear the news of Pam's sudden death. Pam was a very experienced councillor who was always 100 per cent committed to Cornwall. She worked hard for her community and was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that she represented them to the best of her ability.
"She was a real character who was never afraid to speak her mind on issues she felt strongly about – regardless of the consequences. She will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with her family at this time."
Councillor John Wood, the leader of the independent group on the council, said news of Mrs Lyne's death had come as "a very great shock".
"Pam was a tireless and hard working member of Cornwall Council and the independent group," he added. "She gave terrific service to the council, the group and her local community and will be sorely missed."
Bert Biscoe, independent councillor for Truro East, said she was "witty and generous" and while involved in many "bitter battles" always left them in the council chamber.
"Pam Lyne was the bravest member of any council I have ever met," he said. "She stood up for the truth and if that meant putting her house and business at risk to ensure the truth, then she would do that.
"As far as I am concerned, as a member of the local authority and as a human being, Pam Lyne is one of my heroes."