A FORMER councillor who gave more than 50 years of her life supporting her local community will become an MBE as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Described as a ‘stalwart’ of Barnsley, Dorothy Higginbottom represented the council for more than 16 years but served as a parish councillor for more than half a century.

Having also served as Mayor of Barnsley, she retired from the council last month as she opted against standing for re-election in the North East ward.

Yesterday, it was announced she would become a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her service to the public and voluntary service in Barnsley.

Her daughter, Dorothy Coates, said: “My mum’s words upon finding out about the MBE were ‘oh, heck’ but if anyone deserves it, it’s her.

“Her adult life - since the age of 17 - has been dedicated to the community and she absolutely loved doing it for so long.

“She’s always wanted to help people and is a true stalwart of Barnsley.”

Leader of Barnsley Council, Sir Steve Houghton, added: “If there has ever been a councillor in Barnsley showing the true spirit of the town then that is Dorothy.

“They just don’t come around like her very often.”