Kettering 'community champion' Councillor Kevin Thurland dies after falling ill

Flags at council buildings have been lowered to mark the death of Cllr Kevin ThurlandFlags at council buildings have been lowered to mark the death of Cllr Kevin Thurland
Flags at council buildings have been lowered to mark the death of Cllr Kevin Thurland
Cllr Kevin Thurland was at the heart of a range of projects across Kettering

A much-loved Kettering unitary councillor has died.

Cllr Kevin Thurland, who dedicated his time to improving life for people across the town, was involved in community projects right up until his death and had attended Kettering’s Remembrance Day parade on Sunday.

Flags at council buildings were lowered today (Thursday, November 17) to mark Cllr Thurland’s death, which was unexpected and followed a sudden illness.

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The Conservative member for Northall ward had won his seat at the inaugural North Northamptonshire unitary council election last year but had previously been involved in various voluntary roles.

He had been hugely supportive of his wife, former Kettering Borough Councillor Lesley Thurland, and was by her side at many of the authority’s meetings, watching proceedings from the front row.

He had also taken part in litter picks and bulb planting and had been instrumental in getting the Maplefields Community Centre project under way.

Paying tribute to his friend, Kettering Constituency Conservative Association Chairman Mark Rowley said Cllr Thurland was a real community champion.

"He was just a really nice man,” he said.

"His death has come as a real shock to us all.

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"During the run up to the council elections last year he was out there every minute knocking on doors. He was always at the old borough council planning meetings as right-hand man to Lesley, sitting and carefully listening to what was going on.

"He really cared about the community. If you asked him to help, he’d be straight there.”

A former builder, Cllr Thurland retired from full-time work just before the pandemic and since then had put all his efforts into representing Northall ward.

He sat on NNC’s Kettering area planning and planning policy committees.

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Cllr Thurland was an organ donor and his kidneys have been donated to potentially help save two lives. You can find out more about organ donation here.

His funeral will take place at Edgar Newman Chapel at Kettering Crematorium next Thursday, November 24 at 9am. All those who knew Cllr Thurland are welcome to attend.