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Chilham parish councillor and former soldier Paul Hardisty killed in crash

By Gerry Warren

The family of a parish councillor killed in a car crash near Canterbury say he was a larger than life character who was charismatic, devoted and dedicated to supporting the community.

Paul Hardisty, 49, was a passenger in a new Renault Kadjar which hit a tree on the A252 at Chilham near Dane Street, shortly after 3.30pm on Friday.

He was killed instantly at the scene but a friend who was driving escaped with minor injuries.

Chilham parish councillor Paul Hardisty who has died in a car crash

Mr Hardisty moved to the village from Ashford just three years ago and lived in Felborough Close in the village with his wife Melanie and served on the parish council.

His family has now released a statement saying: "Paul was tragically and shockingly taken from us on Friday, March 10, aged 49.

"Paul was a larger than life character - actively supportive in the community, deeply loving of family and friends, charismatic and devoted.

"All those who knew him will feel the loss. Details of the funeral and wake will be released in due course."

An Army junior non-commissioned officer for 16 years and police radio resourcer with Kent Police for nine years, he was also a disability champion and veterans activist.

He was a member of the Royal British Legion, a scout leader and although suffered with his own health conditions, volunteered for various charities.

A message on the White Horse pub Facebook page said: "So sad to hear the tragic news that Paul Hardisty was killed in the recent road accident in Chilham.

"Paul was a man of the community, selfless, always giving up his free time to help out with local projects. Most recently he cleared the front of the peacock. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the collision.

Anyone who has not yet spoken to officers is asked to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit appeal line on 01622 798538 quoting reference 10-0911.

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