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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Greg Clark MP pays tribute to deputy mayor and Southborough hero Colin Bothwell

06 March 2014
by Alan Smith

Cllr Colin Bothwell and his wife Susan last year

Cllr Colin Bothwell and his wife Susan last year

Tributes were paid this week to the deputy mayor of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, who has died following a battle with cancer.

Among those paying their respects to long-serving Conservative councillor Colin Bothwell was the town’s MP Greg Clark, who described the 70-year-old as ‘warm, generous, funny and kind - a local hero’.

Cllr Bothwell passed away on Thursday last week. He had served as a borough councillor for 10 years, representing Southborough and High Brooms, but had been a Southborough Town Councillor even longer.

He was the mayor of Southborough from 2009 to 2010.

He sat on numerous committees, including six years as vice chairman of the borough’s licensing committee.

William Benson, the chief executive for Tunbridge Wells council, said: “Colin was an exceptional councillor whose enthusiasm and commitment infected those around him.

“He was extremely popular within the Town Hall for his positive outlook on life and his passion for serving the people of Southborough and Tunbridge Wells. He will be sorely missed.’

Cllr Bothwell was born in Essex and moved to Fordcombe in 1962, where he worked as a herdsman on a farm.

As a hobby he took up dancing at the Court School of Dancing in Tunbridge Wells, which was where he met his wife Susan.

They married in 1967, and had two children Tracey and Paul.

Cllr Bothwell joined the Prudential insurance company in 1969 and worked for the firm for the next 30 years.

The couple moved to Southborough, Mrs Bothwell’s home town, 33 years ago.

He later said of Southborough: “It’s a wonderful town; I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

He had a long interest in community issues, starting as a school governor in 1982. He became a Southborough Town

Councillor in 1984 and a Borough Councillor in 2004.

He was chairman of Age Concern Southborough for five years, and was also an ambassador to Southborough Brownies and Guides.

A member of Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club, he was also president of Tunbridge Wells Multiple Sclerosis Society, and a committee member for Southborough Twinning Association.

He was aware that he had cancer when he was appointed deputy mayor last May, but vowed to soldier on and attend as many community events as possible.

In his tribute, Mr Clark added: “Colin was a staunch Conservative, and a great campaigner for our party. But politics was never divisive with Colin. It’s a mark of the man that people who were his political opponents were also among his closest friends.”

A funeral service will be held at St Peter’s Church, Southborough, on Wednesday at 11am. This will be followed by a cremation at the Tunbridge Wells Crematorium at 1pm. Family flowers only.

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