Former Sevenoaks District Council Chairman and Leader, Alison Cook, dies following short illness
A former Sevenoaks District Council Chairman and Leader, Alison Cook, died on Thursday 2 January 2020. She passed away at Pembury Hospital following a short illness, aged 76.
Alison, who represented Leigh then later Leigh and Chiddingstone Causeway, was elected to the Council in 1987 and was Council Leader from 1999 to 2005. In May 2006, she became the Council’s Chairman before stepping down as a District Councillor in May 2015.
Alison trained as a nurse at the Middlesex Hospital in London before moving to Hitchin where she continued her career at the Lister Hospital. In 1974 she moved from Cambridgeshire to Leigh where she lived for the next 45 years.
Outside of the Council, Alison was a trustee of several local charities, a governor at three local schools, a board member of Moat housing association and chaired the Sevenoaks District Arts Council. She was also Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Community Health Council, a position she held for several years.
Alison is survived by her husband James, four children and grandchildren.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, said: “On a personal note, Alison was very supportive when I became a councillor and it was a huge privilege to serve with her. She was a real local advocate for Leigh and Chiddingstone Causeway and strong voice for the Sevenoaks District and districts across Kent and the South East, but she was much more than that.
“She was a community stalwart involved in so many aspects of the local life. Alison always worked hard for others and will be greatly missed by our Councillors and staff and many others throughout the District. We are keeping James and the family in our minds at this time.”
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP in Tonbridge and Malling, also paid tribute to Alison. He said: “Alison Cook’s passing is a huge loss, not just to the village of Leigh, but the whole of Sevenoaks District. She served her community so well as a District Councillor for nearly 30 years.
“Although she stepped down from her role on the district council in 2015 when I was first elected, she stayed involved in so many aspects of village life in Leigh and was a great source of advice to me when I was first standing for election in our community. I know she will be missed by many.”