Former Bourne councillor and South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal has died
Tributes have been paid to a former councillor who worked tirelessly for 20 years to help her community.
Linda Neal served as leader of South Kesteven District Council for 13 years and represented the Bourne West ward for 20 years before she stepped down in 2015.
She died on Monday.
Bourne Town Council held a minute's silence for Mrs Neal ahead of its meeting last night.
Town clerk Ian Sismey said: "We are incredibly sorry for the loss to Linda's family and the community. She lived in Bourne and did a lot for the town."
Linda was educated at Bourne Grammar School before training in accountancy and gaining legal executive qualifications.
She was married to Chris and they had a daughter.
Linda served as a school governor at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy and in her spare time loved gardening and walking in the countryside.
She was also involved with a Bourne group that provided shipping containers full of aid to Latvia and Estonia and had visited those countries to meet aid workers.
She was an enthusiastic ambassador for the area and her proudest moments included SKDC’s participation in the 2012 Olympic torch relays and helping to create the first Gravity Fields Festival to celebrate the work of Sir Isaac Newton.
Leader of SKDC, Coun Kelham Cooke (Con), said: “Linda was leader of the council during my first four years as a councillor. She was dedicated, kind and generous in sharing her knowledge and experience.
"Her commitment to this council, its staff and members, and to the residents of South Kesteven earned her much-deserved respect, as well as many friends.
“I am sure there are many people who would want to join me in sending my condolences to Linda’s family. She will be missed.”
Linda supported the Grantham and Stamford Conservatives Association.
Vice president Philip Sagar said: "Linda was a loyal and hard working supporter of the association for many years.
"I'm very sad, as will all the other members of the Conservative association be, to hear of her passing.
"She was determined - she knew what she wanted and how she wanted to do it. It didn't make her popular with everyone but never the less, she was a strong leader.
"To spend 20 years as a councillor demonstrated her long-service to the community and the commitment that she made, which is quite an achievement."
Mercury editor Kerry Coupe said: "We were shocked to hear the sad news about Linda.
"During her time as council leader at South Kesteven District Council she was always helpful and supportive to the newspaper and I know that she gave the same support to people in the community that she was proud to serve.
"She will be hugely missed and we send our condolences to Linda's family, friends and colleagues."
If you wish to pay tribute to Linda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01780 758951.