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The deputy leader for North Hertfordshire Council has died of coronavirus at the age of 65.

The council confirmed that Paul Clark, who was also Executive Member for Planning and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, passed suddenly on Tuesday night (December 7).

He had worked as a district councillor for much of the last 26 years. He was a ward member for Hitchin Highbury for his entire service and served on many committees, including the Cabinet Panel on Housing, Strategic Planning and Transport.

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Paul was also elected to Hertfordshire County Council in May 2021 as the member for Hitchin South. During his time as a county councillor Paul sat on the council’s Development Control Committee and Highways and Transport Cabinet Panel.

In a tribute released by the council, a spokesperson said: “It was Paul’s ambition for the council to put its residents first and to work together with them to build an environment for all to flourish.

“He used his immense experience to ensure that the council did just that. He was never afraid to raise his concerns whenever he felt it necessary. He worked incredibly hard over many decades to help those he served. He was a diligent and dedicated councillor and will be sadly missed.”

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Paul was also a traffic officer until recently, working in a control room to manage incidents. Outside of work, Paul was once a member of the British team for Latin American formation dancing and was an avid sports fan, supporting Saracens Rugby Club and Barnet Football Club.

Reacting to the news, North Herts Liberal Democrat Councillor Steve Jarvis, said: “Paul has been working for Hitchin and its people for the last 30 years, championing the town and the local groups and organisations which he believed make it so special.

“During the last two years since he became Deputy Leader of North Herts Council he has played a major role right across the district and in May he achieved one of his long standing ambitions by getting elected to the County Council. Paul was sure that would enable him to do even more for the people of Hitchin. It is desperately sad that Hitchin and North Herts will now be deprived of his skills and experience.”

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Hertfordshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Seamus Quilty, said: “We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Clark, a hardworking and dedicated councillor who served the people of Hitchin South during his tenure at Hertfordshire County Council, and the wider Hitchin community for nearly 30 years. The thoughts of everyone at Hertfordshire County Council are with Paul’s family at this time.”

Liberal Democrat Group Leader for Hertfordshire County Council, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: “Having known Paul for many years I am incredibly saddened to hear of his passing, especially so close to Christmas, and my heart and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.

“Even before he was elected to North Herts Council in 1995, Paul worked tirelessly to improve his community, and was delighted to have been chosen by residents in May as their county councillor. He will be greatly missed by us as a group as he was starting to get into his stride as a county councillor, and by his residents for whom he worked so hard.”

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