Tributes have been paid to a former Brentwood Lib Dem councillor hailed as a “driving force of energy” who has died at the age of 51.

Karen Chilvers, who represented Brentwood West between 2007 and 2011 and 2012 and 2021, died following a stroke at the end of July on August 31.

Karen died at Basildon Hospital at 11.15pm following a major stroke she had at the end of July.

While she was in hospital there were complications with her health and nothing could be done to save her. She had retired from politics in 2021 due to ill health.

Her friend and Lib Dem borough colleague Councillor David Kendall said: “Karen was a driving force of energy in the Brentwood Liberal Democrats over many years and encouraged a number of people to stand for the Council and helped to get them elected. She was a champion for many vulnerable people in our community particularly on disability and equality issues.

“She also helped many people on planning, housing and environmental matters.

S”he led the campaign with residents to stop the housing development in Honeypot Lane and was a key figure in the campaign to stop “Go Ape” from changing the face of Thorndon Country Park.”

Karen who also stood for parliament as the Lib Dem candidate for Brentwood & Ongar over the last few years Karen spent time concentrating her writing talents in creating a magical dog world called Tzu Kingdom and co wrote a number of children’s books with her friend Gill Eastgate.

Councillor Kendall added: “We know that Karen’s passing will come as a great shock to all those who knew her well or had only met her the once. She will be greatly missed by many residents across the Brentwood community.”

Details of Karen’s funeral and a chosen charity for donations will follow. Cllr Kendall is helping and supporting the family and is happy to pass on any messages via his e-mail