The loss of the former city and county councillor Val Smith has been deeply felt far beyond the Labour Party and the Blackbird Leys estate, which she proudly represented for 27 years.

Her commitment to community politics and love of Oxford won her respect from political opponents in the council chamber and on the doorstep. For she reminded us all that there was, and should always be, a place in local government for integrity, charm, humour and friendship, as well as political conviction.