A FORMER Basingstoke mayor described as "passionate and funny" has died, the council leader has announced.

Cllr Anne Court, who has represented Kempshott for 25 years, passed away overnight.

She has been described as a "dedicated public servant" by the leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Ken Rhatigan.

"We are shocked and saddened by the news that Cllr Anne Court has passed away," he said in a statement.

"Anne was a dedicated public servant of Kempshott for over 25 years, much respected in the local community as a true champion for Kempshott and Basingstoke.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne's family and friends at this difficult time."

Basingstoke Gazette:

Cllr Anne Court has passed away.

He added: "She was a passionate, funny person.

"When I first came onto the council she was more experienced than I and she said 'Ken, you are going to realise that not everybody likes me. You also need to relaise that not everbody will like you either.

"She was funny and that comes through as a caring person and somebody who was passionate about her borough."

Cllr Court served as mayor of Basingstoke and Deane in 2015-16, and has served as a borough councillor for more than two decades.

She was most recently elected to the council at a by-election in June 2018 after having to step back from her roles because of health reasons.

The current Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Diane Taylor, said: “Anne has been a long-standing colleague and friend to many of us and will be greatly missed.

"Throughout her period of bad health, she retained her determination to continue effectively in her role as councillor for the Kempshott ward.

"She has been a consistent and steadfast presence in the council for many years, a brave fighter and a woman of kindness and wisdom.”

Speaking to The Gazette, the council's deputy leader Simon Bound said: "I think it is dreadfully sad in some respects after Anne had been through so much in the last few years.

"It was one of my delights to welcome her back to the council in June 2018.

"She had always been so passionate about her work through the council.

"I will never forget that Anne was one of those people who welcomed me onto the council.

"She was full of life after all of those low moments."

Cllr Court was also currently the vice chairman of the Development Control committee.