TRIBUTES have been paid to former Vale councillor Maureen Kelly Owen who has died, aged 84 years, following a short illness.

Fellow Conservative party colleagues and long-serving Labour Vale councillor, Neil Moore, spoke highly of the Penarth Town councillor who was also a member of the Vale council’s planning committee during her term of office with the county authority.

The former Penarth mayor, Vale deputy mayor and Plymouth ward councillor had to withdraw from becoming the Vale council mayor for 2010/11 due to ill health.

Speaking to the Penarth Times at the time, she said she was “bitterly disappointed”.

"It's very annoying to find out you're not indestructible!" she said.

"Unfortunately, I had not realised that what I thought was a jolt sustained to my hip before Christmas was actually something more significant - and pretty shocked to find out that I urgently require orthopaedic surgery.

"I am bitterly disappointed but know how vital it is that a mayor elect is able to give total commitment to all the duties that the role demands.

"The end result is that I have had to withdraw my name as mayor for this coming year."

Mrs Kelly Owen was also an architect.

She defended the town’s Victorian architectural heritage of Penarth, was involved in the decision to demolish Penarth Esplanade’s multi-storey car park.

In November 2014, during a debate about street lighting in the Vale, she addressed fellow planning committee members.

“If you are going out late at night and you don’t take a torch I think you are mad,” she said.

“It’s not the job of the council to provide lights for your house.”

Vale council leader, Cllr Neil Moore said: “It is with a great sadness that I heard of Maureen’s passing.

“Although Maureen was not a member of my political party, she was a long standing member of the council family and someone with whom I could have may conversations in a grown-up manner.

“Maureen represented the people of Plymouth ward in Penarth for many years and was always active and could always be relied upon to share her views and make them very clearly.

“She represented the council in very many ways, being deputy mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan in 2009/10 and was always a consummate ambassador for both the Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth, where she was also elected as a councillor and was mayor of the town during that time.

“Although Maureen did not stand for election at the last election due to her ill health, I understand that she continued to be as active as possible and continued to have an interest in her community.

“Maureen will be sadly missed and my thoughts and sincere condolences go out to her family at this very sad time."

Vale MP Alun Cairns added: “Maureen Kelly Owen was a very kind and generous person.

“As a councillor she worked tirelessly for the community, as an architect she was passionate about the built environment, ensuring that developments were sensitive.

“Most of all, however she was hugely proud and protective about her family.”

South Wales Central Conservative AM Andrew R. T Davies said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Penarth councillor Maureen Kelly Owen, who always worked exceptionally hard for the town.

“Maureen was well-liked and respected across Penarth and served loyally as the Conservative councillor for the Plymouth ward for many years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to her, and my thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Current Vale council Tory opposition leader, Cllr Vince Bailey added: “For many years, Maureen Kelly Owen served as a committed and hardworking councillor for Penarth’s Plymouth ward.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of her passing and my thoughts and those of all of the Conservative group are with her family at this difficult time.”