Not the best selling book of the same name, but Councillor Kevin Lynes who left this terrestrial ball rather suddenly a little over a week ago.

WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

 ‘Who the hell is Kevin Lynes?’ I had asked Debbie, the Institute of Directors Branch Manager, after I learned that I had been summoned to see him. 
‘He’s the Kent County Council lead for Regeneration,’ she had replied and then went on to assuage my mild irritation with, ‘you’ll like him. Kevin is nice.’
She was not wrong of course. My visit to his crowded little office in Sessions House, Maidstone in July 2010 was a very pleasant – albeit brief – experience, but in our 30 minutes or so together, I learned why Councillor Lynes was such a popular personality.  Within days of our meeting he had blogged 
“I was really pleased to be able to welcome the new Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Kent for an introductory discussion. I very much appreciated David’s style – his phrase “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” chimes with my own feelings about getting things done – especially in these uncertain times for local government”.  
It flattered me then and it flatters me still that Kevin – astute and ambitious politician that he was – nevertheless had no issue with promoting someone else – someone he did not really know, namely me and my views.
When the message came through to my phone last Monday morning from this same Debbie - she who had set up our first ever meeting - I was thrown into momentary shock. 
“Thought you would want to know if you don't already. Kevin Lynes died suddenly on Friday. Really sad.”
When we are prepared for death – perhaps after a long illness or when the one we know has grown old - ever so slowly and over ever so many years – whilst the grief is no less intense, we are able to prepare for it and relief often accompanies the passing of such a life.  When no harbinger of imminent death warns of a sudden loss – when someone simply dies – it is as if someone has been stolen from us.  It also makes us take stock of our own mortality and ask questions – like “if tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I loved her?”  This is what Kevin’s passing has done for me and so many I have spoken to since.  The word ‘shock’ seems to be the only adjective that adequately describes how each of us received the news.
The last time I saw Kevin was at the Keiba Awards launch in Faversham where he gave one of his characteristic impassioned speeches about the importance of the business community to the local economy and his love of Kent as a place.  I remember him taking a sideswipe at - to quote the Daily Mail –‘motormouth TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson who has turned his acerbic humour to the people of Kent, suggesting the county is full of immigrants who escaped the  Sangatte refugee camp in France.’
‘Speak as you find’ my old nan used to say and in Kevin Lyne’s case, I found a truly decent man who managed to combine two seemingly contradictory characteristics; political ambition and a genuine interest in those whom he met.
When I visited Sessions House last week, I noticed a book of Condolences on a table with a framed picture of Kevin beside it.  I glanced at the warm and sympathetic tributes from councillors, staff and members of the public, all written in a style and with a collection of words as befit the occasion. “Sincere condolences to all Kevin’s family at this time of loss” and such like it read.
“Miss you mate” wrote I, for Kevin Lyne’s was everyone’s friend and in his office less than 2 years ago, I like to think he became mine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KcNJr5geNw

WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN 

 

‘Who the hell is Kevin Lynes?’ I had asked Debbie, the Institute of Directors Branch Manager, after I learned that I had been summoned to see him. 

 

‘He’s the Kent County Council lead for Regeneration,’ she had replied and then went on to assuage my mild irritation with, ‘you’ll like him. Kevin is nice.’

 

She was not wrong of course. My visit to his crowded little office in Sessions House, Maidstone, in July 2010 was a very pleasant – albeit brief – experience, but in our 30 minutes or so together, I learned why Councillor Lynes was such a popular personality.  

 

Within days of our meeting he had blogged “I was really pleased to be able to welcome the new Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Kent for an introductory discussion. I very much appreciated David’s style – his phrase “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” chimes with my own feelings about getting things done – especially in these uncertain times for local government”.  

 

It flattered me then and it flatters me still that Kevin – astute and ambitious politician that he was – nevertheless had no issue with promoting someone else – someone he did not really know, namely me and my views.

 

When the message came through to my phone last Monday morning from this same Debbie - she who had set up our first ever meeting - I was thrown into momentary shock. “Thought you would want to know if you don't already. Kevin Lynes died suddenly on Friday. Really sad.

 

When we are prepared for death – perhaps after a long illness or when the one we know has grown old - ever so slowly and over ever so many years – whilst the grief is no less intense, we are able to prepare for it and relief often accompanies the passing of such a life.  When no harbinger of imminent death warns of a sudden loss – when someone simply dies – it is as if they have been stolen from us.  It also makes us take stock of our own mortality and ask questions like - “if tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I loved her?”  This is what Kevin’s passing has done for me and so many I have spoken to since.  The word ‘shock’ seems to be the only adjective that adequately describes how each of us received the news.

 

The last time I saw Kevin was at the Keiba Awards launch in Faversham where he gave one of his characteristic impassioned speeches about the importance of the business community to the local economy and his love of Kent as a place.  I remember him taking a sideswipe at - to quote the Daily Mail –‘motormouth TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson who has turned his acerbic humour to the people of Kent, suggesting the county is full of immigrants who escaped the  Sangatte refugee camp in France.

 

’‘Speak as you find’ my old nan used to say and in Kevin Lyne’s case, I found a truly decent man who managed to combine two seemingly contradictory characteristics; political ambition and a genuine interest in those whom he met.

 

When I visited Sessions House last week, I noticed a Book of Condolences on a table with a framed picture of Kevin beside it.  I glanced at the warm and sympathetic tributes from councillors, staff and members of the public, all written in a style and with a collection of words as befit the occasion. “Sincere condolences to all Kevin’s family at this time of loss” and such like it read.

 

“Miss you mate” wrote I, for Kevin Lynes was everyone’s friend and in his office less than 2 years ago, I like to think he became mine.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KcNJr5geNw