MEMBERS of Bolton Council are in mourning for a “dedicated” councillor who has died.

Labour Party member Cllr Margaret Clare died yesterday after an illness.

As a mark of respect the Bolton Town Hall flew its flag at half-mast.

Cllr Clare represented Harper Green ward for more than 20 years.

Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris said: “It is very sad. Cllr Clare represented Harper Green extremely well. She will be sadly missed, our thoughts are with her family. She worked quietly behind the scenes on adult services and housing issues.”

Cllr Clare was elected on to the council on May 7, 1992, continuously representing the Harper Green ward.

She was chairman of the health and overview scrutiny committee in 2005 to 2006; chairman of adults scrutiny committee in 2001; and was a member of the Bolton at Home board for two years.

She was also actively involved in all health and adult service related issues.

Cllr Mike Francis, who represents Harper Green ward, said: “Margaret was more than just a fellow councillor to me, she was a friend too. Even though she had been ill for some time, her passing still came as a shock to me.

“I was proud to work alongside Margaret as a Harper Green ward councillor. I will miss her dearly and offer my sincere condolences to her family.”

Cllr Christopher Peacock, for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, said he had fond memories of Cllr Clare from when he worked for Dr Brian Iddon, former Bolton South East MP.

He said: “Cllr Clare is really going to be missed. I remember when I was working for Brian Iddon she was one of the first councillors I was working with.

“We have missed her when she hasn’t been well, but now we aren’t going to have her back on Bolton Council it’s going to be difficult. She hasn’t been able to attend meetings for a few months, but we have always been asking about her. Her death is a great loss, not only to the Labour Party, but to Bolton itself.”

Sean Harriss, the council’s chief executive, also paid his respects, posting a message via Twitter.

He said: “Sad day with the announcement of the death of Harper Green councillor Margaret Clare who had been a councillor for 20 years.”