TRIBUTES have been paid to a long standing councillor who has retired from office.

Janice Birch confirmed she will not be seeking re-election to Penarth Town Council or the Vale of Glamorgan Council during the elections which take place on Thursday (May 4).

She was first elected to Penarth Town Council in 1975, serving as Penarth’s mayor in 1981-82.

Representing Stanwell ward, Ms Birch has most recently served on the policy and finance, leisure and amenities, planning and transportation and town twinning committees.

Ms Birch is noted for her campaigns on behalf of women, women’s rights and against domestic abuse.

Over the years, she has been instrumental in maintaining the town twinning link with St Pol de Leon in France.

In the most recent administration Ms Birch has served alongside one of her daughters, Rhiannon Birch.

Town clerk, Emma Boylan said: "All at Penarth Town Council recognise the distinguished service Ms Birch has shown to the people of Penarth and the exceptional contribution that she has made to our town.

"We are sure that many will join us in extending very best wishes to Ms Birch in her retirement from office."

A recent function was held at West House in Stanwell Road to recognise Ms Birch’s service, attended by the former town mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy and his consort, fellow councillors from the past five years, family, officers and local charities.