FORMER Cwmbran councillor and Torfaen mayor Sarah Richards MBE was described as a respected member of council and community following her death.

Mrs Richards – once quoted as saying “nothing has given me greater pleasure than to have represented the constituents of the Croesyceiliog North Ward” – died peacefully at her home last week.

Cllr Richard Clark, her ward colleague from 2004 to 2012, said: “We were very fortunate to be elected in the 2004 and 2008 elections unopposed. I feel this was more out of respect for Cllr Richards than the good luck charm she called me. I could not have wanted a better ward colleague. She was very kind to me as a new councillor and showed me the ropes and how to deal with issues in the ward.” As time progressed she encouraged me to develop and seek various roles with the party and the council. Even in retirement Sarah would provide wise counsel and advice you would be foolish to ignore.

“I have lost a true friend and will miss her greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this very sad time.”

Mrs Richards, of Grosmont Place, Croesyceiliog, spent her professional career in accountancy and insurance. First with a firm of chartered accountants and thereafter, for 24 years until retirement, as office manager for a firm of insurance brokers in Newport. In 1976 she was elected to serve as a member of Torfaen Borough Council and later Torfaen County Borough Council for the ward of Croesyceiliog North.

She served as mayor of Torfaen Borough Council in 1990/91, and had 12 years’ experience with Cwmbran Development Corporation.

Mrs Richards retired as a councillor in 2012 to spend more time with her husband, Glyn.

The leader of Torfaen council, Cllr Bob Wellington, said: “Sarah was a respected member of the council and community.” and it is with great regret and sorrow that I hear of her passing.

“She was a determined and hard-working person, who was never scared to get stuck in. It is a very sad day for Torfaen and I know she will be sorely missed.”