Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has paid tribute to Councillor Penny Smith, who died last week.

She said she was ‘shocked and very, very sad’ after hearing of the death of the former chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

“It is tragic to lose someone so young and with so much to live for,” she added. 

“Penny had a unique combination of political conviction; strength; sharp wit; wicked sense of humour; courage; devotion to duty; loyalty to friends; feminine style and happy good nature.”

Cllr Smith was ward councillor for Broadley Common, Epping Upland and Nazeing.

“She was well respected and very well liked,” Ms Laing added.

“I will miss her as a political colleague but even more so as a friend.”