The death of Kevin Lynes at the age of 53 has come as a shock. I met him a number of times in recent months and, apart from looking tired on one occasion, there was no indication that anything was amiss.
Kevin was a member of the Cabinet at Kent County Council and some were surprised when he did not contest the Leader election in 2011.
One abiding memory of Kevin will be his desire to the photographed by the press. He was attracted to press cameras as a child is to a sweet shop. Keeping his name in the public eye was important to Kevin as it helped his re-election prospects. He once remarked on the pain he felt when he lost his seat on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. There was to be no repetition of the pain with his county council seat.
Kevin worked very hard for the communities he represented and was well thought of by people who would not be considered 'natural' Conservative voters. He championed the communities he represented and had a passion for supporting people suffering deprivation. In many ways he was not a typical Tory. When the by-election is contested the Conservatives will have to be very careful in their choice of candidate.
It may be that Kevin tried too hard. He was a cabinet member, very engaged with people and organisations in his division and active within the Conservative Association.
I had an exchange of fierce e-mails with Kevin over the closure of Panda pre-school play group in Sherwood, but we moved on. I was delighted when he took up the idea of forming a credit union in Kent. The existence of Kent Savers Credit Union is testament to the work Kevin did.
He will be missed.