'Shock' as Tonbridge and Malling leader Mark Worrall dies

Councillor Mark Worrall
Image caption Councillor Mark Worrall was appointed an OBE in 2008

Colleagues have paid tribute to the leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, who has died aged 58.

Councillor Mark Worrall represented West Malling and Leybourne for 30 years on the Kent council and became leader of the Conservative group in 1985.

He died in the early hours of Thursday after being admitted to hospital last week.

Council Chief Executive David Hughes Said Mr Worrall's death "has come as a huge shock".

"Our first thoughts must be for his family and friends," he added.

"Councillor Worrall was held in great esteem and promoted a culture within the council of service to the community," said Mr Hughes.

Mr Worrall, who leaves three children and a sister, was leader of the council from 1985 to 1995 and again from 2003 till his death.

He was appointed an OBE for services to local government in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2008.

"Not only will Mark be missed by his Conservative colleagues but he was also a close friend and colleague to all members of the council irrespective of their political allegiances," said deputy leader Owen Baldock.

"Mark was truly one of those remarkable persons who always put the interests of the residents of the borough at the forefront of everything he sought to do.

"He will be an enormous loss to not only the council but the wider community."

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