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Tributes to Medway councillor Mick Pendergast who was landlord of Nags Head in Lower Stoke and represented Hoo Peninsula

Tributes have been paid to a councillor and "much-loved landlord".

Cllr Mick Pendergast had represented the Hoo Peninsula since 2015 as a member of UKIP before going independent in 2018.

Councillor Mick Pendergast has passed away
Councillor Mick Pendergast has passed away
Mick Pendergast, was landlord of the Nag's Head in Lower Stoke
Mick Pendergast, was landlord of the Nag's Head in Lower Stoke

He passed away in hospital yesterday following a short battle with cancer. He was 63.

As the landlord of the Nags Head pub in Lower Stoke, the south east Londoner was heavily involved in a campaign to save the village's school, Stoke Primary Academy, from a merger with Allhallows Primary School.

The pub had played host to a party for the school's pupils to celebrate the successful campaign - the decision not to merge the schools was later overturned.

In 2019, he launched a new political party with Chris Spalding, who had been the chairman of the Rochester and Strood UKIP branch.

Mr Spalding said Cllr Pendergast had turned the pub's fortunes around when he took over 10 years ago and made it a "wonderful thriving community public house", which has played to many village events include a Silver Jubilee celebration this year, and a children's Halloween disco which is planned for later this month.

Cllr Mick Pendergast, right, pictured with parish cllr Ron Sands and Chris Spalding, at a protest to save the Hoo peninsula
Cllr Mick Pendergast, right, pictured with parish cllr Ron Sands and Chris Spalding, at a protest to save the Hoo peninsula

He added: "He was one of my best friends and I'm devastated. His death has come as a complete shock and surprise.

"One of the beauties of Mick was he was not like some councillors where they can put the answering machine on or just answer the phone; because he ran the pub, he was there for anyone at any time, and he was very much in it for the people, not really for a political cause.

"He didn't suffer fools gladly and he was incredibly loyal."

Fellow ward councillor Ron Sands (Ind), said: "Mick was a vocal and staunch supporter of the Hoo Peninsula and always stood up for the rights of the residents.

"He was a very good ward councillor and Medway Council will miss him.

"The people of Stoke have lost their much-loved landlord of the village pub, but of course the biggest loss is to Julie and the family and I offer my heartfelt condolences for that."

Fomer Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless tweeted: "I have very fond memories of Mick and am terribly sorry to hear this news. All the best to his family and friends."

Chief Executive Neil Davies has paid tribute on behalf of Medway Council along with Cllr Alan Jarrett, leader of the council, and Labour leader, Cllr Vince Maple, who have also expressed their condolences to to Cllr Pendergast's family and friends.

Neil Davies said: “It is with great sadness to hear of the death of Cllr Mick Pendergast. Mick was a well-respected local councillor, particularly by his constituents on the Hoo Peninsula. Mick was passionate about representing the Peninsula ward, especially as a resident himself of Lower Stoke. On behalf of Medway Council, I express our sincerest condolences to Mick’s family and friends – our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.”

Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “Cllr Mick Pendergast will be greatly missed by members from all parties, as well as the constituents he has so passionately served since 2015. We are all shocked and saddened by the news of his death and on behalf of the Conservative Group I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Mick’s family and friends.”

Medway Councillor Mick Pendergast lost his cancer battle
Medway Councillor Mick Pendergast lost his cancer battle

Cllr Vince Maple added: “Mick was a much-respected member of the peninsula community, particularly in Lower Stoke where he served both as a councillor on Medway Council and landlord of the Nags Head. Our thoughts are with Mick’s friends, family and residents at this time.”

Mick is survived by his partner Julie, who said: "He was my soulmate, rock and best friend and I will miss him so much."

He leaves two children, son Dexter and daughter Lindsey.

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