Tributes paid to former mayor of Dudley who had a passion for social care

Tributes have been paid to a former mayor of Dudley who has died aged 86.

Mary Hill with her husband Neville at the start of her year as mayor in 1997
Mary Hill with her husband Neville at the start of her year as mayor in 1997

Mary Hill, who served as mayor from 1997-78, died on April 12 after a period of illness.

The former Labour councillor represented Coseley west ward on Dudley Council for 20 years over two spells.

She was first elected to represent Coseley West in 1980, when she took over the seat from her husband Neville, who had held the seat since 1973. Mrs Hill was appointed chairman of social services when Labour took control of the council in 1984, and became deputy mayor for the first time in 1991.

But the following year, when she was due to have become mayor, she lost her seat as the Conservatives regained the authority in 1992.

Mrs Hill regained her seat it in 1995, holding it until her retirement in 2003. She was appointed deputy mayor for second time in 1996-97, assuming the office of mayor the following year.

She was made an honorary alderman in 2005.

Councillor Susan Ridney, who represents Coseley East, remembered her neighbouring colleague as a strong advocate of care for the elderly.

"She was a very nice lady, passionate about adult social care. She was passionate about her work for the council, and about Coseley."

Councillor Margaret Aston said Mrs Hill was very supportive when she was first elected as a councillor in the late 1990s.

"I worked with her for quite a long time, she was a very hard worker, a lovely lady," she said.

Former council chief executive John Polychronakis also paid tribute.

"Mary was a very nice woman who worked hard for her constituents and the borough as a whole culminating in her year as mayor," he said.

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