Sad news that Maureen Christian, former Lord Mayor of Oxford, city councillor, comrade and friend, passed away last Friday after a short illness. Tributes from those who worked with her - fellow Labour councillors, political opponents and council officers alike - are here, here, here and here.
A committed socialist, Maureen dedicated her unflagging energy and great intelligence to helping other people and to the causes that she was passionate about, particularly promoting arts and culture for all. Her efforts made the area of Oxford that she represented and the city as a whole a better place. People often disagreed with her on this or that, but they always respected and liked her. And she was particularly kind, generous and supportive to younger and less experienced councillors - I was just one of many to benefit from her wise words of advice and friendship.
In 2006, after 19 years of distinguished public service, she was narrowly defeated in the elections. Far from taking the opportunity to have a well deserved rest, she redoubled her campaigning efforts and came back victorious two years later. She is the only candidate in any election who I've ever had to ask to do less campaigning because they were working too hard.
Maureen lived the Good Life, and in these difficult times should be an inspiration to all of us. R.I.P.