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Tributes flood in for champion of Kent

PUBLISHED: 15:49 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 23 August 2010

RESPECTED: Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart.

RESPECTED: Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart.

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former leader of Kent County Council (KCC) who died from cancer in hospital aged 66. Sandy Bruce-Lockhart led the Conservative administration from 1997 to 2005, after becoming leader of the then opposition group in 1993. H

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former leader of Kent County Council (KCC) who died from cancer in hospital aged 66.

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart led the Conservative administration from 1997 to 2005, after becoming leader of the then opposition group in 1993.

He was English Heritage chairman before his death and a former Local Government Association leader.

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart was born in Wakefield to a Scottish family in 1942 but described himself as "the ultimate Kent Fan" saying "there is absolutely nowhere else like Kent - nowhere in the world".

Paul Carter, current leader of KCC, said he fought a 'courageous' battle against the disease and he would be 'enormously missed'.

Lord Bruce-Lockhart came to Kent in 1968 to farm, having run farms in South Africa and Australia, and said he was spurred into politics in 1989, by opposition to the planned Channel Tunnel rail link route.

Knighted in 2002, he was made a life peer in 2006 and took on the chairmanship of English Heritage in August 2007.

Mr Carter said: "Driven by a love and passion for the people and the county of Kent, he proved that beneath his urbane charm and courtesy lay his conviction and determination to deliver what he believed was right.

"His knighthood and subsequent peerage were just rewards for the significant contribution he made through local government and the Conservative Party nationally."

"In essence, put simply, in all he did he was a force for good and we will all miss his wise advice and friendship very much.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Tess and the family at this sad time."

Maidstone and the Weald MP Ann Widdecombe said that in his role as president of the Maidstone Conservative Association, he had given her much support and advice.

She said: "Sandy Bruce-Lockhart was a towering figure in local government and his work has left a lasting impact. It is a pity that his career in the House of Lords has been cut so short, as I am sure that he would have been a distinguished member of the next Conservative government."

His successor at the LGA, Sir Simon Milton, added: "National and local politicians from across the political spectrum will miss Sandy's zest for life, his courage and his determination to fight for what he believed was right for people."

During his short time with English Heritage he was credited with securing "a major breakthrough in our plans for Stonehenge, convincing ministers that a new, affordable scheme was worth government backing."

He leaves behind a wife, Tess, and three children.

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