A formidable politician who left an indelible mark on St Albans has passed away after a short illness at the age of 81.

Agnes Hill, who died last month, was a colourful and much respected member of both the district and county councils.

A staunch Conservative, she was a county councillor for 12 years, serving as the member for St Albans North from 1981 to 1993.

Almost in tandem, she was a St Albans district councillor between 1979 and 1991, representing the Cunningham, Marshalswick South and Marshalswick North wards.

Agnes held senior positions with both authorities, culminating in 1988 when as Tory group leader of the district council, she oversaw a seven per cent swing to the Conservatives, the highest in the country.

The first woman to be elected as a group leader in Herts, during her two year period in charge, she was at the helm during a restructuring programme which turned an almost bankrupt council into one with a healthy balance.

She also served the city in a number of other capacities including as a member of the Family Practitioner Committee and as a governor of a number of local schools

In 1991, she was elected an Honorary Alderman of St Albans in recognition of her service.

Herts Advertiser: Agnes Hill when she served as a councillor for St Albans district council.Agnes Hill when she served as a councillor for St Albans district council. (Image: Archant)

Away from politics, she was a highly-qualified home economist and mother of two who dedicated herself to public service for 30 years while she lived in the UK and abroad.

Her last job was as a senior executive personal assistant to the president of global technology at Xerox.

Paying tribute to Agnes, her daughters Anne and Lyn said: “Mum was an incredible, multi-faceted woman. She fought hard for what she believed in and never stopped fighting, right up until the end.

“Mum touched the lives of so many people and made a lasting impression. A committed and active politician for many years, she worked tirelessly for the community.”

They added: “We are proud that Agnes Hill was our mother and she will be deeply missed and forever loved by her daughters, grandchildren, family and friends.”

Herts Advertiser: Agnes Hill in later life.Agnes Hill in later life. (Image: Supplied by the family)

County council vice chairman Cllr Annie Brewster said: "Agnes was a dedicated and hard-working councillor who served the people of St Albans for many years, in many different community capacities. The thoughts of everyone at Hertfordshire County Council are with Agnes’ family at this time.”

Cllr Chris White, leader of St Albans district council, added: “Agnes was an old school political leader who left her mark on the council in a positive way. Until shortly before her sad death she was still engaged with local ward councillors and with me on a variety of issues. I shall miss her."

The funeral will be held in The Lady Chapel, St Albans Cathedral on Wednesday September 22 at 2.30pm followed by a private family cremation. Family flowers only but donations, if desired, should be made through Phillips Funeral Directors, St Albans in her memory for the NSPCC.