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TRIBUTES have been paid to community stalwart and former mayor of Usk Margaret Etheridge who has died aged 96.

Mrs Etheridge, from Usk, was well-known in the community, having served as mayor in her 80s and as a a town councillor for 10 years from 1990.

Her son, Richard Etheridge, said: “She cared about her community and the community cared very much about her.

“She was very well-known and had a wonderful sense of humour.

“When she was mayor she said she would be known as the poop scoop mayor because she wanted to clear up all the dog mess.

“She thought she should give back to the community and felt it was her civic duty to get involved to do what she could."

He added: “She loved her time as mayor and they loved having her because she was good at keeping order.”

Mrs Etheridge was a member of St Mary’s Church in Usk and was also known as a skilled player in the card game, bridge. Her late husband, Viv, was chairman of the former Gwent County Council.

Friend Roger Gallatley said: “She was an astonishing woman.

“She could mix in any company whether it was with the royal family or with a local road sweeper. She had a large circle of friends and every single one of them spoke highly of her."

He added: “There was very little that went on in Usk that she was not connected to in some way.”

Tony Kear, chairman of Usk in Bloom, said Mrs Etheridge was a “wonderful supporter” of the group.

He said: “Usk has lost a unique character and stalwart of Usk life.

"Her floral window box displays continued to impress each summer and 2017 was no different.”