Tributes after Hampshire councillor David Kirk's death

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Councillor David Kirk
Image caption,
Mr Kirk was elected to the council in 1997 for Andover South

Tributes have been paid to a Hampshire county councillor who was found dead at a caravan park.

David Kirk, 63, member for children's services, was found dead by a friend at the Kingfisher Caravan Park in Gosport earlier.

Staff at the site said they believed he may have suffered a heart problem and died in his sleep.

Council leader Ken Thornber said he was a "very loyal, kind friend" and a "great champion" for the authority.

'Terrible shock'

He added: "David will be greatly missed.

"His death has been a terrible shock and leaves a large hole in the cabinet of Hampshire County Council.

"Children services have lost a very great champion who was totally committed to the wellbeing of children and young people and maintaining high educational standards across the county's schools.

"Speaking for myself, I have lost not only a superb executive member for children's services but a very loyal and kind friend."

Mr Kirk was elected to the council for Andover South in 1997 and held three cabinet posts during his career.

He took on the role of chief of children's services in 2007 having been the education cabinet member since 2005.

He also represented the council as a member of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

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