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'Extremely kind' former Dartford mayor Tony Gillham dies aged 82

PUBLISHED: 12:02 21 June 2016 | UPDATED: 11:40 01 July 2016

Dartford Civic Centre

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Tributes have poured in from councillors and family

A former councillor and mayor of Dartford has died aged 82.

Tony Gillham, who represented the Wilmington ward, died at Darent Valley Hospital on Friday, June 9, following a long battle with illness.

His wife, Eunice Gillham, led the tributes.

She said: “He was a very kind man, he was always helping people and always putting others first.

“We had 61 years together and we did some nice things in that time, we worked together abroad in Algeria, and when we came home he became interested in politics.”

Mr Gillham enjoyed a lengthy career on Dartford council, and was chosen as Mayor in 1991.

Tributes have been paid by some of his former colleagues.

Councillor Pat Coleman said: “Tony Gillham was both a borough and county councillor when I was first elected to Dartford Borough Council in 1976.

“I remember him to be a very effective, fluent debater in the council chamber and had a great grasp of facts and figures of any subject he spoke on.

“Those who challenged him in debate had to be very sure of their ground if they did not want to appear foolish.

“In many ways he was a ‘larger than life character’. He was someone I looked up to and learnt from in my early days as a councillor and the council was all the richer for his many years there.”

Fellow councillor Ann Allen described him as a “mentor”.

He said: “Tony was a wonderful mentor to me when I was first elected to represent Wilmington West/Joydens Wood - a real pleasure to work with.

“He was extremely kind and a great champion for his electorate.”

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