Tributes have been paid following the death of former Wirral mayor Kate Wood.

Mrs Wood – who achieved 39 years' continuous service with the local authority before retiring in 2013 - passed away at her Wallasey home last night surrounded by her family.

Deputy Conservative group leader Cllr Lesley Rennie said: "It is very sad news indeed.

"Kate was one of the leading figures in Wirral politics, to which she had dedicated her life.

"She had respect from people from across all political divides and likewise, she had respect for them.

"She worked tirelessly for the people she represented and she will be very sadly missed by a great many in Wirral and further afield."

Mrs Wood, 79, was made an honorary alderman of the council last year and served as Mayor of Wirral in 2000.

She was a member of Merseyside Police Authority for more than 20 years and chairman of Wirral education committee for six years.

On her retirement, Mrs Wood said: "During my period with the police authority it became the best performing force in the country and crime fell.

"I felt very honoured and took great pride in my work with the police.

"I will be very pleased to accept the honour of alderman at the end of a long political career.

"It’s nice to get a bit of recognition; I shall wear my badge with pride."

Mrs Wood began her political career as a Liberal; she “crossed the floor” to join the Tories after an ideological clash.

She retired to devote more time to seeing her family.

She had two daughters, one who lives in Wallasey and the other in Bristol – and four grand-daughters.

Leader of the council, Cllr Phil Davies, said: "Kate will be hugely missed. Everyone held her in the highest esteem and affection.

"She was a fantastic ambassador for the borough and served her Wallasey constituents exceptionally well."

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist said: "I am saddened to hear of Kate’s passing.

"I always found her to be very diligent and extremely thorough, whatever she took on.

"She did her homework and was always in command of the issues.

"She had determination and spirit and, although there were things we did not agree on, she respected her opponents - and that respect was mutual."

Tributes also have been paid  on social media.

Conservative councillor Ian Lewis, who represents Leasowe and Moreton East, tweeted: "RIP Kate Wood. Thank you for all you did over the years to make your community a better place."

Labour's Upton councillor Stuart Whittingham wrote: "Sorry to hear about the death of former Councillor Kate Wood, though out political views differed I always found her a pleasant person."

Moreton West and Saughall Massie Conservative councillor Steve Williams said: "Very sad that former Councillor Kate Wood has died after a short illness. She made me very welcome when I was elected."

You can leave your tribute for Mrs Wood below...