An inquest has been opened after the death of a former councillor who played a leading role in the borough’s green policies.

Su Assinen, 62, died at her home in Willow View, Colliers Wood on September 10.

She dedicated 12 years of her life to Merton Council as a labour councillor serving Abbey Ward from 1994 to 2006.

She chaired various committees and served as cabinet member for regeneration and cultural services. The circumstances surrounding her death are as yet unknown but it is believed she was alone at the time.

Her former colleague, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: "Su was a colleague of mine between 2002 and 2006.

"She was a very well respected colleague and former cabinet member who gave her service to Merton for 12 years and her loss has been felt deeply by many of us.

"She was a great friend of mine and a very well respected person who had done great service in the community and was very involved to the present day."

Ms Assinen was a trustee of Deen City Farm and Merton Priory Trust and was also a treasurer of the Wandle Valley Festival.

Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "She set up the first Merton environment action plan and that was quite pioneering in terms of moving on from previous local action plans.

"She was certainly steeped in the community and was always very generous with her time and with her expertise.

"Our thoughts are with her mother and her friends. It was a real shock to us all."

An inquest was opened and adjourned by Battersea Coroners Court and will be held in due course.

Those wishing to pay their respects are invited to attend her funeral at Putney Vale Crematorium on October 1 at 3pm.

Ms Assinen's family have requested no flowers and for any donations to be made to an animal or environmental charity of their choice.