EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a senior Bradford councillor, who has died today after a long illness.

Cllr Lynne Smith (Lab, Wibsey) had served her area for a decade and also chaired the authority's governance and audit committee.

She died this morning, after a long battle with cancer.

Her ward colleague, Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey), has this afternoon paid an emotional tribute to his friend.

He said: "Lynne was a valued colleague and friend.

"She was an inveterate fighter for justice and equality, a great ward colleague and someone who has left a lasting imprint on the politics of Bradford with her passion, enthusiasm and commitment.

"We will be advising people how to mourn her and the funeral arrangements in due course. It is a tragic loss."

Cllr Berry said Cllr Smith was extremely effective in her role chairing the governance and audit committee - a committee which plays a key role in examining the council's inner workings and financial effectiveness.

He said: "She had one of the brightest and most enquiring minds I have ever come across, she had a fearsome intellect and knew how to challenge, enquire and hold to account.

"It had to be absolutely proper for Lynne, she was a perfectionist and she expected people to hold the highest standards of behaviour."

Cllr Berry said Cllr Smith was dedicated to working together with others for the common good, adding: "She was a very fine example of a woman who set about trying to change the world for the better."

Councillor David Green (Lab, Wibsey), also paid tribute to his friend and ward colleague.

He said: "Lynne was committed to socialism and the Labour Party and always fought for what she believed was right.

"She was tenacious in her representation of the people of Wibsey but most importantly for me, she was a good and loyal friend who was always willing to tell me when I was wrong but also was there, not just for me, but for others when they needed her.

"She will be missed by her friends and family but I think she will be sorely missed by the people of the district, for whom she worked tirelessly."