One of Hertfordshire's most respected councillors, Iris Tarry, died this morning. She was 75.

The member for South-West Harpenden, first elected in 1977 and later appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her distinguished record, died peacefully in the early hours after a short illness.

Newly-appointed council leader Robert Gordon said: "We were very saddened to hear of Iris's death.

"She gave outstanding service to the people of both her local community and the wider county for more than three decades and she will be long remembered for her significant and lasting contribution to local government in Hertfordshire."

Flags at County Hall in Hertford are flying at half mast in tribute to Councillor Tarry, who led the authority as chairman from 1989 to 1993.

She served on all major committees, and had a key role in establishing Hertfordshire Police Authority.

In 1994 she was appointed a member of the National Audit Commission, overseeing the National Health Service and local government.

Her services have been recognised with an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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