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Published: 10:00, 12 August 2017 |
Updated: 12:59, 13 August 2017
Councillor John Cubitt, the former leader of Gravesham council, has died.
He passed away on Friday after battling illness for much of the past year, having served as a councillor since May 2007.
His poor health forced him to step down as leader of the council back in March, less than two years after taking on the job when the Conservatives secured a majority in the 2015 election.
Cllr David Turner stepped up from deputy leader to replace Cllr Cubitt, with Cllr Leslie Hills becoming the new second-in-command.
"John was extremely highly thought of, not just by the Conservatives but by both groups on the council," said Cllr Hills.
"He did a lot to deliver on his promises and in that sense he was not too political. He was anxious to produce results more than score political points.
"It's a shame that his period in office was overshadowed by reductions in local government grants. He was a qualified person in terms of finances, he was a mathematician, and his experience was very important."
Upon election victory in 2015, Cllr Cubitt made some bold appointments to his cabinet, including the decision to make Cllr Jordan Meade responsible for tourism and youth.
He was just 19 at the time, making him the youngest person ever to be elected to council, representing Singlewell ward.
"John was a champion for young people and it was he who inspired me and others to get into local government," said Cllr Meade.
"He truly loved the local party and working for the public, and his commitment to the people of Gravesham was second to none.
"John will be hugely missed by many, not only for his commitment to public life and the support and mentorship that he offered to young people like me, but for his immeasurable friendship and willingness to give young people a chance."
Cllr Cubitt did stay on as councillor for Meopham North and his death will trigger a by-election, with details to be announced in due course.
Away from politics, Cllr Cubitt was a former chairman of Gravesend Rugby Football Club and founding member and former president of the Gravesham and Meopham Rotary Club.
He is survived by his wife Moira and two children, and he also had several grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are to be confirmed soon.
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