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Maidstone's Ukip Cllr Dave Sargeant has died

Maidstone Borough Councillor Dave Sargeant has died.

Cllr Sargeant, who was 77, represented Shepway South. He suffered a massive heart attack on Friday morning and passed away in Maidstone Hospital soon after.

Cllr Sargeant was the first ever Ukip councillor to be elected to Maidstone, when he took his seat in May 2014.

Cllr Dave Sargeant has passed away
Cllr Dave Sargeant has passed away

He served on the Employment Committee, the Performance Sub-Committee, the Policy and Resources Committee, the Urgency Committee and was a substitute member for the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee.

He was noted in the council chamber for his quiet inoffensive manner, interspersed with the occasional speech, passionately delivered.

Cllr Sargeant, of Westmoreland Road, Shepway, had been a keen sportsman in his youth, a pastor and had run his own business.

He had recently been the leader of the Ukip group in the council chamber.

His main interests had been to protect play areas and provide more facilities for young people in his ward.

One of his political rivals, Lib Dem Councillor Dave Naghi, said he was shocked by the news.

He said: "Dave Sargeant was a real , honest, genuine man. He didn't seek to become a councillor for fame or power, but for all the right reasons; he wanted to help the people in his ward.

"He was a lovely feller and will be genuinely missed."

The Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, Cllr Fran Wilson, said: “We would like to offer our sympathy to Cllr Sargeant’s wife and family at this sad time.

“Cllr Sargeant was passionate about the people and communities he represented and was a hardworking and enthusiastic member of the council. He will be greatly missed.”

Cllr Sargeant had one of the better attendance records on the council, missing only one meeting during his time of service.

He is survived by his wife June, daughters Ruth and Heather, and grandchildren Megan and James.

Cllr Sargeant was born in Doncaster.

As a teenager he played cricket for the Yorkshire Boys team and football for Sheffield Wednesday’s junior team.

He remained a sports enthusiast throughout his life, and was a loyal Doncaster Rovers supporter.

After leaving school at 15, he worked for International Harvesters in Doncaster.

Later he was a pastor at a church in Peterborough, worked at Booker’s in Maidstone and, after redundancy, formed a window-cleaning business.

Following retirement, he spent more time on his hobbies of photography, bird-watching and writing poetry. He was a member of the RSPB.

An enthusiastic member of the Vine Church, in Boughton Lane, he greeted people at the doors and his great singing voice was recognised by all.

He helped with the church’s school-work with the New Line Learning Academy. This included mentoring students, Bible teaching and playing football, table tennis and other games with students at the school.

His daughter Ruth said: "Dad was a loving and active father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed."

The funeral details are yet to be confirmed.

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