A long-standing champion of policing in Hertfordshire has died.
Sherma Batson MBE was a member of the Police and Crime Panel and passed away on Sunday.
She was also a county councillor and former Mayor of Stevenage.
The Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I’m deeply saddened to hear of Sherma’s death. She was a good friend and formidable colleague who was a passionate public servant and a valued member of our Police and Crime Panel.
“As a councillor she was respected and well-liked by her constituents who will miss her terribly.
“My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues at the council at this difficult time.”
Sharon Taylor, speaking on behalf of the Labour Group at Herts County Council, said: “This is heartbreaking news. Sherma was, quite simply, unique and incredible.
“Sherma was a force of positive energy, never more so than when she was fighting for equalities and the rights of those more vulnerable members of our community.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”
Robert Gordon, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, offered his condolences: “I am saddened to hear of the sudden death of Sherma over the weekend. “She was a very thoughtful and committed representative of her constituents who will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”
Robin Parker, speaking on behalf of the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, said: “We were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Councillor Sherma Batson.
“She was a true pillar of the local community and people like her are rare indeed. She gave freely of her time and energies to help local people, and she will be sorely missed.”