MP Kris Hopkins has paid tribute to former Lord Mayor of Bradford Valerie Binney, who died last Friday (July 25).
The former Bradford councillor, who continued to fight for people's rights despite suffering from a serious debilitating disease, died at Manorlands Hospice in Keighley with her daughter by her side.
Mrs Binney, a former Lord Mayor of Bradford and former Conservative councillor, suffered from Motor Neurone Disease, a degenerative muscle-wasting condition which robbed her of her ability to speak and walk.
She died early this morning at Manorlands Hospice in Keighley with her daughter by her side.
Mr Hopkins described her as "formidable lady".
He said: “I am desperately sorry to learn of Valerie’s passing. She was a truly formidable lady and, despite her long illness, lost none of her resolve to stand up for the causes and people that mattered most to her.
“I was privileged to serve with Valerie on Bradford Council for many years, including four as Leader. She was a loyal Conservative and yet wasted no opportunity to make her feelings known across a wide range of policy areas.
“She cared deeply about Bradford and was unquestionably one of the most dedicated and committed Lord Mayors to serve the district in recent decades."
He added: “Politicians come and come and go but Valerie’s contribution to public life in Bradford will be remembered for many years to come. My sincere sympathies go to her family and wide circle of friends, who will miss her greatly.”
Councillor Binney was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2012. Despite losing the ability to talk on the telephone, she continued to serve electors until she retired this year.
She communicated using an iPad with special software which allowed her type in words that were projected as a voice.
She also used a wheelchair and an adapted car to get about.
Leader of the Conservative group in Bradford, Councillor Glen Miller, said: "It is very sad news. Valerie Binney continued to champion the causes of residents of this district right up to a few days before her death. It is a sad day for Bradford."