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A tribute to Trudy Dean

May 27, 2017 7:06 PM

At the County Council meeting on Thursday, 27th May Rob Bird led the tributes to Trudy Dean who has recently stepped down as Leader of Kent Liberal Democrats.

Trudy Dean"Trudy's standing as a County Councillor can be described in one word - 'formidable'. She has made her presence felt in County Hall for 32 years - including 4 years as a Cabinet Member and the past 20 years as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.

"I first met Trudy some 28 years ago - she was formidable then. Little did I anticipate that we would become colleagues on the Council many years later. In the Autumn of 2012, I was invited to stand in a by-election following the sad death of my predecessor, Malcolm Robertson. But first I had to get through an approvals panel and Mrs Dean.

"Trudy's questioning was fairly straightforward. Would I uphold Liberal Democrat principles? That was relatively easy. But, far more importantly, would I communicate with local residents and listen to their concerns, and would I do everything possible to support their best interests? These are the qualities that have so endeared Trudy to the residents of her division, Malling Central, for the past 32 years. These are qualities which every member, new or old, should follow.

"In her 20 years as Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Trudy has earned the respect of members of all political persuasion and council officers. Her understanding of the role of this Council is unparalleled. So is her determined and effective work in holding the Administration and the Council to account.

"Trudy does not do sound-bite politics. But, as Mr Carter has previously acknowledged, she does provide effective scrutiny and constructive criticism wherever necessary. If Trudy suspects something is wrong or unfair, she will get all the relevant facts and make sure a better alternative is considered. Nobody does it better. Trudy is the perfect role model for an opposition member.

"Trudy, I have learnt a lot from you since joining the Council and I will continue to do so. You are going to be a hard act to follow. So I was delighted, and also very relieved, that you agreed to continue as my deputy. Thank you for all you have done as Leader of the Liberal Democrat group and for the people of Kent."

Tributes were also given by the Chairman of Kent County Council, David Brazier, and the Leader of the Council, Paul Carter.