TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of the first female chairman of Derwentside District Council.

Alderman Mary Page, formerly Armstrong, represented the South Stanley area on the now defunct authority from 1983-99.

She died aged 90 on the morning of July 30 following a battle with cancer.

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A dedicated member of The Labour Party, she served as chairman of the authority from 1989-90.

She was made honourary alderman after serving for four successive terms as a councillor.

Councillor Alex Watson, a former leader of the council, who now sits on Durham County Council, said: “She was super councillor. She was very generous, well serving and well meaning. She was a people’s councillor and always very approachable.”

Mrs Page, who was married to Chris Armstrong and later Patrick Page, had four children, 11 grandchildren and  nine great grandchildren.

She was born in Beamish, near Stanley, and lived in East Stanley as a younger woman before moving to Ellington, Northumberland, later in life.

Her son, Tom Armstrong, said: “We are all very proud of all of the work she did, the whole family is. She has set an unbeatable example.”

Mrs Page’s funeral will take place at The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, in Ashington, at 10.45am on Tuesday before she is buried in North Seaton.

Her family has asked for people to make donations to a charity of their choice rather than sending flowers.