A BENCH will be unveiled on Selsley Common in tribute to stalwart Stroud councillor Maureen Rutter who passed away last year.

The carved bench made by Simon Haywood is expected to be erected on the common on Friday, when Maureen would have celebrated her 91st birthday.

It will be located on the common overlooking the constituency of Stroud east and Cainscross which Maureen served as a Labour councillor on Gloucestershire County Council.

Friends of Maureen donated money towards the bench at a celebratory gathering at Archway School earlier this year.

Rowena Eccles, friend to Maureen for 40 years, said: "The plan is to go up to the common on Friday and drink a toast to Maureen for all her work and for the fantastic friend she was.

"Selsley Common was always an area she loved from living in Stroud. I remember we went up there as a group of friends to watch fireworks on the night of the Millennium.

"Maureen was a wonderful listener and counsellor for anyone troubled or who needed advice.

"We hope this can be a listening bench where people can go and listen to their own thoughts or go an sit with friends."

Maureen joined the County Council in 1981, representing the representing the Cainscross and Rodborough areas of Stroud for 27 years, whilst also serving as Leader of the Labour group.

She received an Award of Merit in recognition of her long and dedicated service to the Labour Party at Gloucestershire County Council.

She passed away at the age of 90 at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, having suffered a stroke a few weeks previously.