Tributes have been paid to Katie Gent, a former mayor of Richmond, after she died on February 7, aged 72, after a battle with cancer.

She served as mayor from 1992 to 1993 and as Barnes ward councillor from 1986 to 2002.

An Oxford PPE graduate, she applied her considerable intellectual abilities to planning issues for many years on the council and voiced the community’s concerns over the expansion of Heathrow and night flights.

She was a founder member of the Barnes Community Association and it was this that stimulated her interest in all aspects of Barnes life, leading her into local politics.

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Councillor Stephen Knight said: “I served alongside Katie for my first four years on the council from 1998 to 2002 and remember her as an experienced and formidable champion of environmental and transport issues and a tireless opponent of Heathrow expansion in particular.

“She was the trusted expert within our group on these issues who you could always turn to for good advice.”

She was a governor of Lowther Primary School, where she helped implement a school improvements building programme, and was a trustee of the Barnes Workhouse Trust.

She was the driving force behind the Thames Landscape Strategy and was involved with the process that led to the Barnes Wetland Centre.