Councillor for St Helier Ward, former mayor and cabinet member for children's services Maxi Martin has passed away following an illness. 

Merton Council have announced their "great sadness" at the death of Cllr Martin, who had served St Helier Ward for 18 years, when the news was was announced today, Thursday, April 7.

Cllr Martin died in her sleep last night, Wednesday, April 6. She had been ill since December, and it is believed she had been fighting cancer.

April 8: In pictures: Remembering Councillor Maxi Martin as the borough pays tribute

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said: "Maxi was a wonderful councillor and was deeply committed to representing residents in St Helier. 

"She was also devoted to the interests of young people and worked tirelessly to ensure their voices were heard.

"The armed forces also valued the work she did in organising the yearly Armed Forces Day Parade in Merton."

He added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Maxi's family, who were so important to her and were with her until the last." 

Cllr Martin served as Mayor of Merton between 2003 and 2004, and was appointed as cabinet member for children's services in 2010. 

She was involved in a number of activities with schools across the borough, including joining Abbotsbury Primary School in Morden to skype NASA astrophysicists and choosing the best stop smoking posters designed by the Mitcham Saturday school SHINE. 

October 2015: A small act of kindness by Abbotsbury Primary School welcomes refugees to Merton

Cllr Martin, who was also a supporter and friend of the Ahmadiyya community, spent her last school visit at Abbotsbury School to see the donations children had collected to support refugees living in Merton. 

What are your memories of Maxi Martin? Leave a tribute by contacting the newsdesk on or 020 8722 6337.