Published: 11:37, 17 October 2017
Tributes have been paid to Thanet councillor Ken Gregory who died yesterday.
The long-standing Conservative councillor had worked at Thanet District Council for more than 20 years.
North Thanet's MP Sir Roger Gale has today paid tribute to Ken following his 'unexpected' death, saying he was a 'hardworking local councillor'.
He said: "Our first thought must be with Ken's wife, Kay, and his family for whom this sudden, unexpected and premature bereavement will have been a terrible shock and loss.
"The Ken Gregory that I have known as my association chairman, as a hardworking local councillor and above all as one I am privileged to have been allowed to call my friend was a larger-than-life character.
"His indomitable sense of fun and humour couple with a wonderful disdain for pomposity has made him both a formidable political ally and a fearless and tough opponent.
"Ken has left an indelible mark on the political landscape of Kent.
"He will be missed by those who loved him and those who respected him in equal measure."
In May, Ken was elected as the county councillor for Birchington and Rural alongside Emma Dawson.
He was also the shadow cabinet member for community safety & environmental services at TDC.
Cllr Emma Dawson has also paid to tribute to her ‘dearest friend’ who she says was a ‘light of intense enthusiasm.’
She said: "My dearest friend and colleague Ken Gregory will be so sorely missed.
"He was a tower of strength and showed courageous support at times that shall never be forgotten.
"His knowledge of politics was so extensive, that I used to liken Ken to that of Professor Yaffle from Bag-puss.
"This use to make him laugh and I think he quite liked the comparison.
"Ken had a massive heart although he would quite often hide his feelings under a cool exterior.
"He would help anyone who needed his help and often use his dry sense of humour to get a few giggles when speaking at the Parishes
"He absolutely loved being a county councillor and through his inspiring messages to me this work will be carried on.
"Ken was a light of intense enthusiasm for me adventures and his memory I will hold forever in my heart."
TDC leader Chris Wells says they are 'shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Cllr Gregory' and that their deepest sympathy is with Ken's family and friends.
Cllr Wells said: “He was a hard working District Councillor who served the Thanet villages as well as being the Shadow Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environmental Services.
"In addition to his District Councillor duties, he was also a Parish Councillor for Monkton Parish Council and Kent County Councillor representing Birchington and Rural.”
“His work and dedication on behalf of those who elected him, as well as his wider contribution to Thanet residents, will not be forgotten.”
Shadow Leader, Cllr Bayford added: “Ken has been a powerful force in local politics for over 20 years.
"The knowledge and commitment that he brought to Thanet Council will be sorely missed and he will be very difficult to replace.
"Our thoughts are with Ken’s family at this sad time.”
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