Published: 09:15, 17 February 2020
| Updated: 09:01, 19 February 2020
A long-standing member of Maidstone Borough Council has died.
Cllr Wendy Hinder first became a Boxley Parish Councillor in 2000 then, after deciding that she wanted to do more for her village, was elected as a borough councillor for the Conservative party in 2004.
During the current civic year she has acted as the borough's Deputy Mayor and could have looked forward to becoming Mayor later this year, but it was not to be.
She died in Maidstone Hospital on Saturday afternoon after a short illness. She was 77.
Her husband Bob Hinder is also a borough councillor and is currently chairman of Boxley Parish Council.
Mrs Hinder's colleagues on the council from across the political spectrum have been quick to pay her tribute.
The Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Marion Ring, expressed "her deep sadness at the extremely sad news that our friend and fellow colleague Cllr Mrs Wendy Hinder has passed away."
Cllr Ring said that she regarded Cllr Mrs Hinder as a dear friend who "was dedicated to the community and will be greatly missed."
She extending the council's deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to her family.
Cllr John Perry, Conservative group leader, said: "Wendy was one of our most experienced and dedicated councillors.
"She not only faithfully represented her ward of Boxley both as a parish and borough councillor, but, she also made a major contribution to the borough through her work as Deputy Mayor and on the licensing committee where she has acted as both chair and vice-chair.
"Wendy was happily married to Bob for 58 years who will be lost without her. She was a very gentle, kind soul and all of us could learn so much from her. We shall all miss her very much and our thoughts are with Bob and his family at this sad time.”
Cllr Martin Cox, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council expressed his sadness, saying: “This is such devastating news for Bob, his family, friends and Maidstone Borough Council.
"I would like to pass on my condolences to the family and the Conservative Group to which Wendy made such a huge contribution for so many years.
"We will only begin to realise how much she will be truly missed as we talk to all those people whose life she helped and made a difference to.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time.”
Cllr Malcolm Mackay, leader of the Labour group, said: “It was incredibly sad to hear the news of Wendy’s passing. She was a very kind and lovely lady who will be greatly missed."
"She was such a sweet lady."
Cllr Fay Gooch, deputy leader of the council and leader of the Independent group added: “Wendy was such a sweet and wonderful lady who I was extremely fond of.
"I am devastated by the news and my heart goes out to such a close family and can’t imagine the loss they must be feeling.”
Cllr Eddie Powell, leader of the Independent Maidstone group, also expressed his sympathy. He said: “Wendy was someone who was extremely helpful and totally dedicated to supporting everybody in the community and I know she will be greatly missed.
"You truly couldn’t wish to meet a nicer couple than she and her husband Bob who always made me feel so welcome – my heart-felt condolences go to all her family.”
Bob Hinder and their sons Andrew and Mark expressed their gratitude to all the staff at Maidstone Hospital for "the wonderful loving care given to Wendy during her short stay there. "
They said: "Their attention to detail was incredible. She passed through four departments where staff went far beyond what one expects.
"They performed their work, but also showed incredible kindness, compassion and an attitude of really caring for Wendy.
"From porters, nurses, clerical staff to cleaners she was so respected with fantastic care, compassion and real love that the family wishes it to be brought to the attention of the public what a wonderful NHS facility exists to care for the people of Maidstone and beyond."
Details regarding the funeral are yet to be announced.
More by this authorAlan Smith