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Tributes paid to civic stalwart Kit Owen

Touching tributes have been paid to a former senior member of Fenland District Council and six-time mayor of March who has died after a sudden illness.

Kit Owen, who served as a councillor for more than 40 years and was employed in local government for more than 20 years, passed away in the early hours of today, Friday, May 1, at the age of 74.

Flags have been lowered at Fenland District Council offices at Fenland Hall, March, as a mark of respect until after Mr Owen's funeral.

Paying tribute, the Chairman of Fenland District Council, Cllr Mrs Kay Mayor, said: "I was very sad to learn of the passing of former March councillor Kit Owen in the early hours of this morning. Kit was not just a councillor colleague, he was also a friend and very supportive to me during my tenure as Chairman of Fenland District Council. Kit was forthright and never one to hold back on his thoughts and ideas. I shall miss him greatly and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Fenland District Council Leader, Cllr Chris Boden, said: "Kit served Fenland District Council for many decades, initially as a Council officer and, later, as a councillor. He used his immense experience to ensure that the Council ran as effectively as possible, and he was never afraid to raise his concerns whenever he felt it necessary. Kit was an effective councillor, a real character and a strong champion for Fenland generally and for March in particular. So many people will miss him. Our thoughts are with Kit's family and friends at this sad time."

Cllr Mrs Jan French, Town and District councillor for March West and Deputy Leader of Fenland District Council, added: "Having known Kit for over 30 years, his commitment to the community will be sadly missed. Despite losing his seat in May last year, he never stopped supporting his community and people knew they could still turn to him for help. I spoke to him on Wednesday evening and he was still helping residents with queries."

March born and bred, Mr Owen was educated at March Grammar School. He spent time working at a local newspaper, and served as a statistician in the Royal Air Force both home and abroad for 12 years.

He also pursued a career in accounting, before working in local government for over 20 years. He joined Fenland District Council as an officer in the 1970s and worked in the income and rents department.

Mr Owen served as a district councillor between May 1999 and May 2019 and served on many committees including Overview and Scrutiny, Planning, Licensing and Corporate Governance.

During his time as a senior member of Cabinet, he took on responsibility for housing, planning strategy, roads and transport.

Chief Executive of Fenland District Council, Paul Medd, said: "We are very sorry to hear of Kit's death and our sincere condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. He worked incredibly hard over many decades to help those he served. He was a diligent and dedicated councillor and will be sadly missed."

Article added: May 1, 2020

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