TRIBUTES have been paid to a district and county councillor who has died while on holiday.

Councillor Margaret Hulme, 81, died in the early hours of Monday, after she became ill on a family holiday to Crete.

The Press understands Coun Hulme, represented the South Selby division of North Yorkshire County Council, was taken ill with pneumonia while on holiday. She had served Selby rural between 1991 and 1993 and Selby South from 1997 to date.

Mark Crane, leader of Selby District Council, had known Coun Hulme for about 15 years, and worked with her for eight years at the council, and said he was shocked and saddened by her death.

He said: “She was a much-liked and respected councillor, both at district and county, and I think she was someone who was at the heart of her community and was very keen to help anyone who came to her in seeking assistance. I’m certain she will be missed by both the community and clearly terribly missed by her family.”

Labour councillor Steve Shaw-Wright said: “Though we were political opposites, Margaret always found time to share stories with me at County Hall. I am very saddened by the news, and will miss Margaret’s cheerful presence in the council chamber. It is a very sad time for her family and friends, to whom I offer my despest condolences.”

Coun Hulme is survived by her husband Michael, who was a Selby GP, and their children.

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Margaret was a senior and long-serving member of the council council who also served as chair during her time of office. She was a very caring and compassionate woman and will be a sad loss to the county council and to the community.”

District Councillor Anne Spetch had known Coun Hulme for 50 years. She called her “a dedicated fighter for the Conservatives”, and said she had been looking forward to her holiday since winning her seat at the county council last month.

Coun Spetch said: “She’d won her seat as county councillor which we were all pleased for her, and she said ‘I’m off to Crete’. She was really cock-a-hoop after winning her seat back. Obviously, things were quite serious but I thought she would just come out of it because she was such a fighter and strong personality, I thought she would get better.”