Home   Ashford   News   Article

Ashford councillor Alex Ward dies of motor neurone disease aged 31

A 31-year-old councillor has died just weeks after getting married following a year-long battle with a debilitating disease.

Cllr Alex Ward had served on Ashford Borough Council since his election last year, representing the Beaver ward for Labour.

Alex Ward celebrates his election to Ashford Borough Council with proud dad David last May. Picture: Paul Amos
Alex Ward celebrates his election to Ashford Borough Council with proud dad David last May. Picture: Paul Amos

Despite a diagnosis last year of motor neurone disease, he continued to attend virtual meetings even up to last week.

On July 6, he married his partner of 10 years, Elizabeth, in what was possibly the first wedding allowed in Ashford since the lockdown.

He passed away peacefully yesterday morning at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Mr Ward was born in London in 1989, moving to High Halden near Tenterden in 1996.

Being educated at Linden Grove Primary School in Stanhope and Bethany School in Curtisden Green, Goudhurst, he then studied multimedia journalism at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Alex Ward (second from left) pictured in 2015 at a community vigil following the devastating Nepal earthquake
Alex Ward (second from left) pictured in 2015 at a community vigil following the devastating Nepal earthquake

The Labour supporter unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the council in 2015, and held internships with a Labour MP and a Republican Senator in America.

He enjoyed success in the local elections last May and served on the authority's appeals committee and the joint transportation board.

Mr Ward's true passion was transport and he had already been making ripples on the sector's international political stage, playing a role in meetings of the United Nations Global Forum for Traffic Safety in Geneva.

Alongside this he helped co-ordinate the international '#50by30' campaign - an effort aimed at halving the number of global road deaths by 2030.

This initiative was adopted by the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Alex (far left) eagerly awaiting the results of last year's local elections
Alex (far left) eagerly awaiting the results of last year's local elections

Unfortunately due to his ongoing struggle with motor neurone disease, he was unable to attend the conference.

In March, he got the great news that he was an uncle when his sister gave birth.

Speaking about their colleague - who spoke Greek and had a love for the island of Crete - the Ashford Labour Party said: "The whole party is united in its grief and we send our condolences to his wife Elizabeth, his mother and father, sister, his wider family and friends and all those who knew him.

"Aged 31, Alex had his whole life ahead of him"

"Alex was a stalwart of Ashford Labour Party and served his constituents to the very last.

"Attending meetings as recently as last Thursday despite the terrible physical restrictions the disease placed upon him.

"Through his fight he was brave, diligent and selfless.

"Aged 31, Alex had his whole life ahead of him.

"Alex made a huge contribution to the party serving in a number of roles and being one of the strongest local campaigners.

"We will cherish his memory and he will never be forgotten."

Alex's family is supporting the work of the Mid Kent branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. To donate, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford


More by this author


This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More