TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved former Barnsley councillor who died following a spell of illness aged 81 last Thursday.

Coun Dorothy Higginbottom MBE served on Great Houghton Parish Council for more than 50 years, and on Barnsley Council for 16 years.

Her daughter, Dorothy Coates - who is also a councillor - said: “All her life was dedicated to others - every person, group or village, it didn’t matter.

“She loved visiting all the groups in all the villages of the North East ward.

“It was not work, it was pleasure.

“She was thankful for all the friendships given to her from the villages - she never took it for granted.

“If there was any advice or experience she could pass onto others, she would.”

In 1997 she founded the Great Houghton Village Hall Committee and had served as its chair.

Dorothy ran a number of groups, taking up the role of chair of Great Houghton Youth Group in 1995.

She was also Mayor of Barnsley from 2012 to 2013, which she loved.

“She was humbled by it and the variety of people she got to meet, and to see how much talent and people gave over the borough,” her daughter added.

“She was generous with her time and love.”

Dorothy was also Barnsley’s longest-serving magistrate, spending 34 years on the bench.

She stood down from her North East ward seat before May’s election.

In June, she was named in the he Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022, in recognition for her public and voluntary services in Barnsley.

“When she heard of the MBE she said to me, ‘oh heck what have I done to deserve that’.

“She said you must always count your blessings, and she lived her life like that.”

Coun James Higginbottom, Dorothy’s great-nephew, paid tribute to his aunt.

“Dorothy was a stalwart representative of the North East ward; a lifelong community champion, an indefatigable ambassador for our borough, its people and communities.

“On a personal level, Dorothy was always a source of enormous support, wisdom and guidance to me and so many other new councillors.

“If ever there was a model of a community councillor to seek to emulate, it would be Dorothy.

“She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.”

Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton paid tribute to Dorothy’s community-minded spirit.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dorothy’s family at this sad time.

“Dorothy was an extraordinary person who has given a lifetime of service to Barnsley and Great Houghton.

“The work she has done over the years speaks for itself.

“Dorothy was a champion of the underdog and always reached out to those who needed help.

“In July, I was pleased to be able to see her presented with her MBE for outstanding recognition for her public and voluntary services in Barnsley.

“She was a wonderful colleague and friend and will be greatly missed.”