TRIBUTES have been paid to a committed former Abergavenny mayor and town councillor who was found dead at her home in the town's Trinity Street on Saturday.

Samantha Dodd, aged 45, spent many years of her life balancing her job as a travel agent with roles on Abergavenny Town Council.

She was a councillor for 11 years until her resignation in October 2019, and served as Mayor of Abergavenny in 2012/13.

Ms Dodd followed in her father Richard’s footsteps. He had been mayor during the 1980s.

She was particularly proud to welcome the Olympic Torch to the town in 2012, in setting up litter picking organisation Keep Abergavenny Tidy, and in furthering the development of Abergavenny Beavers, which she led for 13 years.

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Ms Dodd leaves her 15-year-old daughter Megan, brother Martyn, mother Margaret, and grandmother Joyce.

Monmouth MP David Davies said: “I was deeply shocked to hear of the death of Sam Dodd. She was a very active member of the community in Abergavenny and a joy to work with. I certainly counted her as a friend and somebody who could always bring a smile to your face.

“Her death is a tragedy for all of us but most of all her immediate family, and I offer my deepest condolences.”

Monmouth MS Nick Ramsay said: “Sam was one of a kind; warm-hearted, generous and full of life.

“She was dedicated to her community, and as well as being a political colleague, Sam became a friend to my wife Jen and I over the years. She will be sadly missed. My thoughts are with her family.”

Mayor of Abergavenny Tony Konieczny echoed these sentiments, saying: “I would like to offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to Sam’s family at this sad time.

“Sam was a hard-working town councillor. Holding the office of mayor is an honour but also a significant time commitment and Sam, together with her mum Margaret as consort, embraced the role with enthusiasm and pride.

“I’m sure many in Abergavenny will have fond memories of Sam.”

Alan Breeze, a former mayor of Abergavenny and an honorary burgess of the town, added: "She was so good as the mayor and very proud to follow in her father's footsteps.

“She was a lovely, lively girl and so welcoming. When she saw you she'd bounce over. She was so caring and thoughtful, it is such a tragic loss of life."