WINCHESTER City Council members and staff have paid to tribute to a “dear friend and colleague” who died last month.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Lynda Murphy, cabinet member for the climate emergency, died on December 6, and on Wednesday, councillors paid tribute to her during a meeting of the full council.

Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Vivian Achwal recalled fond moments with Lynda, having become friends with her around six years ago.

Cllr Achwal said: “Lynda had such a bubbly personality, positive towards life and always had a cheeky smile and would be up for doing anything. As you know Lynda’s passion was the climate change. I remember at her first Lib Dem conference that she attended a few years ago, nothing would hold her back and she was up on the stage giving a speech to about a thousand people and I remember how inspirational she was and how amazing she was to do that.”

She continued: “When she became ill, she stayed very positive, I was very fortunate and lucky to class her as a dear friend, and I miss the chats and laughs we had together.”

Cllr Linda Gemmell recalled that Lynda “shone as a star, as few do in the short time that she was with us”, while Cllr Charles Radcliffe said she “was a celebrated campaigner and councillor”.

He continued: “In her quiet, courteous, determined, humorous way, Lynda was a force for good in local politics and in her community. She had the most impact on green issues, but her activism didn’t end there.”

Cllr Radcliffe said that her “legacy lives on in a hundred ways” from wildflower meadows to new electric charging points.

Leader of the council, Lucille Thompson paid tribute, saying: “Underneath that unflappable exterior there was a steely determination to just get things done. Lynda absolutely loved her role as a councillor and took great pride in looking after the residents of St Michael.”

Lib Dem Paula Ferguson said: “If she set her sights on something, Lynda would make it happen, her tenacity, her determination always coming through, I really admired that in her. She was a friend, she was an inspiration, she was a model for women entering local politics.”

Winchester Conservative leader Caroline Horrill added: “We knew Lynda as an excellent councillor, very committed to her portfolio and her ward, and more importantly always smiling and fun to be with and pleasant to work with."

The council’s chief executive Laura Taylor said: “She always had a smile for everyone and her infectious enthusiasm and dedication towards tackling the climate emergency really shone through in everything she did.”

Recalling what council staff said about Lynda, Mrs Taylor added: “They described her as a shining light and full of passion and always putting others before herself and truly one of life’s good people.”