TRIBUTES have been paid to a 'caring' former Burnham-on-Sea town councillor who has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Katie Lawson passed away peacefully in the presence of her family at Weston Hospice on Wednesday (July 17) aged 50.

Katie served as Sedgemoor District Councillor for Burnham Central from 2011 to 2015 and as Burnham and Highbridge town councillor for Burnham East for the same period and, after a boundary change, for Burnham Central from 2015 to 2019.

Cllr Phil Harvey, town councillor Burnham Central, led tributes to Katie and described her as a 'conscientious councillor'.

He said: “I first met Katie when we were both selected as Liberal Democrat candidates early in 2011.

"She was enthusiastic and soon became an excellent canvasser – thoroughly deserving to win her district and town seats in that year.

"She gained a reputation as a conscientious councillor who researched topics thoroughly and who spoke with conviction and passion at council. She had a background as a youth worker and was particularly interested in youth issues.

"Latterly she was employed as a care worker which brought an added dimension to her council work.

"Katie became ill last year but continued to attend council meetings and carry out her duties.

"She had recently celebrated her 50th birthday with a party for friends and family.

"Although seriously ill she remained optimistic and only ten days ago came round to see me.

"However she deteriorated rapidly last week and was admitted to Weston Hospice where she died within a few days.

"Katie leaves behind her partner, Stephen, a daughter, sons and grandchildren – to all of whom she was devoted. She will be sadly missed."

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council also paid tribute to Katie and passed on their condolences to her family.

A council spokesperson said: "The town council was saddened to learn that Katie Lawson has passed away.

"Katie had served as a district and town councillor and was a vivacious and positive person who cared deeply about the community she lived in.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her partner Steve and her family at this very difficult time."