TRIBUTES are flooding in for much loved community stalwart and long-serving Stroud district councillor Liz Peters.

One of the best known and longest serving members of Stroud District Council, she represented Chalford for 15 years.

Liz, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2016, died last night with her family around her.

She worked tirelessly to support the community and organised the Grand Village Fete for nearly 30 years, raising thousands of pounds for good causes.

Since June 2016, Liz had been keeping an online journal of her experiences during her illness.

In her blog she said: “Subsequent to my originally being told I had cancer, I have experienced a multitude of emotions.

“My family have been really supportive, cooking meals, supplying food, giving me pretty scarves, walking poles to encourage exercise – I do lead a Heath Walk in Chalford every Monday – and my Church, Chalford Baptist Church!

"My faith in Jesus has definitely helped and I would say become stronger.”

Born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, in 1944 to Alfred and Jane Hulme, Liz grew up in Sunninghill, Berkshire with her brother, Richard.

Liz wrote in her blog about her upbringing: “I attended the Marist Convent until I was 16, when I went to Wokingham College of Further Education, where I took lessons in secretarial skills.

“Although I had an Easter holiday job, my first real job was at Conservative Central Office in Smiths Square.”

In 1974 Liz settled in Stroud and had six daughters and seven grandchildren.

She wrote: “My mother was a Conservative councillor in the Windsor constituency, so when she died in 1975, I put my name forward and was elected eventually to represent Chalford in 2002.”

Liz was a committed member of the district council right up to the end, she was most recently on the housing committee and community services & licensing committee, and in the past had been chair of the housing management forum.

Her family put out a message to announce her passing, they said: "Our gorgeous, tenacious, organised, inspiring, passionate, larger than life, sun loving and sometimes exasperating mummy passed away peacefully last night at 10.30pm, surrounded by all of us daughters and Daddy.

"She was a fighter to the end and we are so proud of everything she accomplished in her incredible life.

"Thank you so much to all her friends that have helped her, daddy and all of us cope over the last 18 months, plus all the care and support from NHS, flexicare and Macmillan.

"We love and miss you mummy, God bless. 'Everything that happens in this world happens at the time god chooses. He sets the time for birth and the time for death, the time for planting and the time for pulling up. He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy, the time for mourning and the time for dancing' Ecclesiastes 3.

"With love from Graham, Hattie, Sammy, Charlie, Annette, Sarah-Jane & Caroline."

Former Stroud MP Neil Carmichael praised her bravery and compassion.

 He said: “I really admired Liz, she combined a lively personality with an open minded approach to life, and she was a very kind and considerate person.”

Leader of Stroud District Council Steve Lydon (Lab, Dursley) said: "As leader of the council I am very sad to hear about the death of Liz, she will be sorely missed by staff and members alike. My condolences go to her family and friends"

Green Party leader on the district council Martin Whiteside (Green, Thrupp) said: “I served alongside Liz Peters as a neighbouring district councillor for 13 years.

“She made a massive commitment to the local community and in particular to running the Grand Village Fete for so many years with incredible energy and enthusiasm - making it an important community event that also raised significant funds for local charities.

“She was also truly committed to local housing issues, the local school, the Post Office, the canal and redevelopment of Brimscombe Port.

“She will be sorely missed by all of us.”

Cllr Paul Lilly, chair of Chalford Parish Council, said: “Liz was a focal member of the Parish through her work as both district and parish councillor.

“She gave so much; organising walks, visiting the vulnerable, supporting individuals and volunteering to assist in so many ways.

“Her caring and kind nature leant itself so well to ensuring she got the job done quickly and without fuss.

“Liz was dedicated to providing a public service and took her responsibilities very seriously.

“Her warmth and sincerity, coupled with her lively and enthusiastic nature was infectious.

“Liz was a unique person. She will be sadly missed by all in the Parish; parishioners, councillors and employees.”

Cllr Mattie Ross (Lab, Stonehouse) said: “Liz was an exemplary ward councillor, worked hard for her patch and was tenacious in seeking to resolve issues she believed in.

“She was a member of housing committees for as long as I can recall, and took a real interest in social housing.

“Never one to shirk her duties she could always be counted on to attend meetings and functions.

“Although we didn't agree politically, we had a healthy respect for one another and I will miss her personally, her smile, her laugh and latterly her indomitable spirit and courage during her final illness, which was an example to us all.”

Businessman Andrew Watton said: “So sorry to hear the news of Liz's death. To say Liz was inspirational would still be inadequate. Liz was a tour de force throughout her life. Someone who "got on with it".

“Pleasure to have known for almost forty years and in awe of how Liz continued to enjoy life right to the very end. My thoughts, prayers and love to all members of Liz's family. RIP Liz.”

Cllr Debbie Young (Con, Chalford), said: “I worked with Liz ever since we moved here almost 13 years ago and then became councillors together nine years ago.

“Her passion for politics was immense as was her involvement in helping the community.

“She stood out from the crowd and her bravery in fighting cancer was staggering to see.

“She will be missed by all. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.”

Chairman of Stonehouse Parish Council Gary Powell said that despite being in opposing "camps" he always got on well with Liz, remembering her straight-talking and humour fondly.

"It is with great sadness that I received news of Councillor Liz Peters passing," he said.

"I worked closely with Liz while we sat on the licensing committee.

"Although in opposing "camps" politically Liz and me always got on well.

Her humor and straight talking got me through some tedious meetings.

"We all knew the bravery with which she faced her last months and I for one will miss her presence in the chamber.

My thoughts are with her family at this sad time."

From everyone at the Stroud News and Journal, we would like to send our heartfelt sympathies to Liz's family and friends.