TRIBUTES have flooded in for a popular former mayor after her sad death.

Members of Southend Council, close friends and family have remembered Daphne White, who served as mayor from 2007 to 2008.

She also spent many years as the ward councillor for Thorpe where she represented the Conservative party for 13 years.

Mrs White was a mother to three sons, Nicholas, Howard and Marcus.

She died aged 83, and also leaves behind her sister Felicity.

The council released a letter paying tribute to Mrs White, saying: “Her boundless energy and generosity will be sadly missed across the borough, among the many of us whose lives she touched.

“Let us also look forward, renewing our commitment to serve our community in the way Daphne did.”

Mrs White first became involved in politics in the mid-Sixties when she also worked in the community, taking in single expectant mothers and also visiting prisoners’ wives.

One of Mrs White’s greatest accomplishments came when she led a fundraising effort to build Belfairs’ disabled riding school, which 44 years later is still offering lessons.

Ann Holland, deputy mayor of Southend Council had known Mrs White since before she became a councillor in 1996.

She said: “It is really sad, she was such a lovely lady and truly a very dear friend.

“She worked very hard for the community in the Essex area and always represented Southend across the area.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East remembered Mrs White fondly, describing her as a caring and “generous” woman.

He said: “Daphne was the life and soul of the party who made sure everyone was enjoying themselves.

“She was a generous host and gregarious advocate of Southend when Mayor.

“I will raise a glass to our Daphne.

“She will be deeply missed by all her friends in parliament.”

David Amess, MP for Southend West also paid his own tribute to Mrs White who he described as a “first class councillor” and an “outstanding” mayor.

Mr Amess said: “Daphne was a beautiful, elegant lady blessed with a knowing smile.

“She was generous, warm-hearted and kind.

“She will be greatly missed by so many people who she had touched throughout her life, but she will be missed by none more than her family, to whom I send my deepest sympathy.”