Tributes paid to Ashford Borough Council leader Peter Wood

Ashford councillor Peter Wood
Image caption Peter Wood was described as a man of integrity

Tributes have been paid to the leader of Ashford Borough Council, who has died.

Peter Wood, 63, died a week after temporarily stepping back from his day-to-day duties at the Kent authority to recover from a serious operation.

Mr Wood, who lived in Aldington, was described on Twitter by Brendan Chilton, leader of the Labour group, as a man of integrity.

He had been leader of the Conservative-controlled council since 2010.

The council said Mr Wood died on Friday night following a short illness.

'Flag at half-mast'

Damian Green, Ashford MP and Policing and Criminal Justice Minister, said: "I am saddened by Peter's death and send condolences to Sheila and their family.

"He was a leader of great energy and integrity, who made a real and positive contribution to the area. Ashford has lost a good man"

A spokesman for the authority said its flag would be flown at half-mast until his funeral had been held.

Councillor Gerry Clarkson was appointed acting leader of the council after Mr Wood announced he was to step down.

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