TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Hampshire county councillor who has died aged 92.

Edith Randall was a lifelong Totton resident who also served on the town and district councils and was made an honorary alderman when her political career ended after 30 years.

The veteran Conservative joined Totton and Eling Town Council in 1976 before going to represent the area on the county council.

She was de-selected by her party ahead of the county council elections in 2005 but stood as an Independent.

Her decision split the vote and led to the election of a Liberal Democrat, Cllr David Harrison, who has held the seat ever since.

Cllr Harrison, leader of the Lib Dem group on the district council, said: “It’s fair to say she was very much part of the community and already a political legend when I appeared on the scene.

“The rather sad ending to her political career was actually initiated by the local Conservatives.

“Despite her years of experience and high profile, she wasn’t selected by the party to re-stand as a county council candidate.

“Instead, they went for a younger person.

“Edith’s decision to stand as an Independent robbed the Conservatives of the seat.

“The split in the vote between those supporting Edith and those voting for the official Conservative candidate enabled me to pull off a shock win.

“She congratulated me and said if I ever needed her help and advice I should just ask.

“She loved the job and clearly wanted to carry on.

“It must have been agonising to have been rejected by the party she loved and supported for so long and then to have lost the election.”

Southampton-born Mrs Randall married Roy Southgate in 1947 and their son Michael was born the following year.

After her marriage broke down she went on to wed Frank Randall.

Her funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, Eling, on July 17 at 2pm.