TRIBUTES have been pouring in for former Wollaston and Stourbridge councillor June Collins who has died at the age of 90 after a long illness.

The stalwart politician, who was a devout Conservative for many years before switching to join the Lib Dems in 2000, passed away at 6am this morning (Wednesday).

June, of Cobden Street, Wollaston, had been in Ashgrove care home in Netherton since suffering a stroke in November 2013.

Her son Dr Paul Collins broke the news of her death on Facebook this morning and he told the News: "My wife and I have been completely overwhelmed by the reaction and response to her passing, and we are grateful for all the kind words and support we have received."

June, who was born in Brierley Hill, was a popular councillor for 14 years – serving on Dudley Council from 1990 until 1996, first for the Conservatives, and then again for the Liberal Democrats from 2000 to 2008.

Stourbridge News:

She had been active in the Young Conservatives from her teenaged years and was a founder member of Wollaston Townswomen’s Guild in 1967.

But it was after her husband Bert died, aged 59, in 1980 that she really became involved in community matters. She helped to set up Wollaston Community Association before being elected as ward councillor for Wollaston and Stourbridge. She was also a founder member of the History of Wollaston Group and she worked for National Opinion Poll for many years until her late 70s, having worked in her earlier years for Barclays Bank in Cradley Heath, Blackheath and Kidderminster before she married in 1953.

Paying tribute to her, Paul said: "I must have got my public spiritedness from her. My mother was always interested in what was going on locally and in helping others in any way that she could.

"She became involved in so many things it was easy to lose count.

"As a councillor June specialised in social services and planning, but was also chair of a committee dealing with trees and on the local adoption panel."

Former Lib Dem councillor Chris Bramall described Mrs Collins as an “amazing councillor” and said: “Whichever party she was representing - nothing was too much trouble to do for people in her ward.

“She was a very engaging person – lovely to know and lovely to talk to. She was one of our neighbours in Wollaston and I used to meet her all the time when she was walking her little dog.”

Stourbridge News:

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, described June as a “real community campaigner” and said: “She had a big community vote.”

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said: “When I first joined the Conservative Party in the early 1990s, I lived in June's ward and she was one of the first councillors I campaigned for.

“June loved Wollaston and, judging by the support she regularly got in local elections, the feeling was reciprocated.

“She worked tirelessly for the local community and, even when you disagreed with her, it was impossible not to admire June's dedication and her determination.”

And former Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Steve Waltho, said on Facebook: "I will remember June fondly as a model local community councillor and a warm kind human being. The world is a worse place today for her passing.”