TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular parish councillor.

Councillor Judith Atkinson, who represented the Elvet and Gilesgate on the City of Durham Parish Council passed away at home on January 31 following a short illness. Condolences were expressed across the Council at the sudden passing of our beloved colleague Judith.

Council chair Cllr Elizabeth Scott, who led tributes said: “Since her successful election in May 2018, Judith volunteered much of her time to make Durham a better place for everyone and she distinguished herself as an exceptionally caring, warm-hearted and hard working member of our council.

“Judith will be especially remembered for her brilliant contribution to our council’s environment committee and the work she did to launch our very popular business frontage awards for Christmas – a first in the city and something we are keen to continue.”

Cllr Scott added: “Councillors and staff at the Parish Council have expressed to me their real shock and sadness at Judith’s passing in the last few days.

“We have extremely fond memories of working with Judith and she will be extremely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judith’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time”.

At the funeral on Saturday February 15, a poem written by Cllr Atkinson herself, titled “I’m an optimist at heart” was read by her son Michael Abbott and attendees made donations to Blind Life in Durham – an organisation dear to Cllr Atkinson’s heart – at the family’s request.

The vacancy on the City of Durham Parish Council will be advertised in due course.