A former senior councillor and chairman has died, it has been announced.

Joan Davis, who represented Loughton Broadway, was the first non-Conservative chairman of Epping Forest Disctrict Council and the second woman to hold the position.

Paying tribute to his former colleague, councillor Stephen Murray said: “Joan was a passionate district councillor, passionate about social justice, passionate about getting a fair deal for working people and passionate about representing the Loughton Broadway ward to the best of her ability.

“I had the privilege of representing the same Broadway ward with her for 16 years from 1982-1998.

"Joan cared deeply for the residents she represented and was always prepared to go the extra mile to help them out.”

Ms Davis was a district councillor from 1979 to 2006 and, following her retirement from the council, she continued to act as a Labour Party agent.

She died as a result of complications from a stroke at 5.20am on Saturday.