TRIBUTES have been paid to a highly-respected councillor who campaigned for safer roads in Bransgore.

Ann Hickman, a member of New Forest District Council and a former chairman of Bransgore Parish Council, died aged 54 after losing her battle with cancer.

District councillors stood in silent tribute to Cllr Hickman, who had been a member of the authority since 2011 at a recent council meeting.

Cllr David Harrison, a former leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, said: “She was the sort of councillor many of us aspire to be – dutiful, well connected to her community and someone who carried out a lot of casework.

“Her death is a great tragedy for her friends and family and the people she represented.”

Cllr John Penwarden added: “Ann lived in Bransgore for 27 years and during that time was heavily involved in helping people.

“She was well-known to virtually all the residents and will be remembered for her kindness, vitality and practicality.”

Councillor Hickman became a member of Bransgore Parish Council in 1995 and was elected chairman in 2006, remaining in the role until 2013.

She campaigned for a reduction in speed limits and also fought for traffic calming measures to be implemented.

The parish clerk, Edwin Macknamara said: “She was an integral part of our work within the community and worked tirelessly on behalf of residents.

“As chairman of the parish council, she led by example and provided the necessary support and advice which resulted in many steps forward and achievements within the community.

“Her local knowledge was invaluable and she always found time to help anyone who turned to her.”

After beating breast cancer a decade ago, Cllr Hickman was told early last year that the disease had returned.

Her funeral was attended by the district council leader, Cllr Barry Rickman, the chairman Cllr Maureen Holding and the chief executive Dave Yates.