#0450* – IN MEMORIAM – UKIP CANDIDATE Paul GREGORY
Paul GREGORY died on 21-April-2011 aged 62!
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Elections 2001: Poll off after Seabridge candidate’s death
But those affected will still be able to vote in the referendum about the Alternative Vote (AV) system.
A by-election for the council seat will be held at a date yet to be set.
The 62-year-old, pictured right, was the director of Westbury and Clayton Youth Club, which he co-founded in 1997.
Through the youth club he ran a range of activities for teenagers including football and dancing.
But he was recently diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus and died in hospital on April 21.
A council spokesman said: “In light of Mr Gregory’s death, the poll in Seabridge will be abandoned. A by-election will be held within 35 days after May 5.”
Derrick Huckfield, UKIP councillor for Silverdale and Knutton, said Mr Gregory had been determined to stand in the election.
He said: “He begged to stand and said he was all right.
“The next thing we heard he was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with cancer, but he came out and told us ‘I have plenty of years left in me yet’.
“I can’t believe he’s died. He put his heart and soul into the idea of being a councillor.
“He thought he could do good. He really thought he had a good chance of getting in this time and he was excited about it.”
Newcastle’s UKIP chairman David Nixon said: “My first abiding memory of Paul was his complete commitment. When we started UKIP in Newcastle in 2004 he was out leafleting every day.
“He also put in an awful lot of effort helping young people in Clayton.”
Colin Brooks helped found the youth club, although the pair were standing against each other in the election with Mr Brooks hoping to win the seat for Labour.
He said he was saddened to hear of his political rival’s death.
He said: “He was interested in youth and the community and he worked hard.
“He was a genuine sort of bloke – politics didn’t come into it.
“He’ll be sorely missed.”
The AV referendum will still be held in that ward on Thursday.