Tributes pour in to Councillor Chris Underwood-Frost
Tributes have been pouring in following the death of a popular Lincolnshire County Councillor.
Cllr Chris Underwood-Frost died on Wednesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer.
He was first elected to West Lindsey District Council back in 1999.
He was chairman of the district council between 2004 and 2005.
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He also represented the Scotter Rural division at Lincolnshire County Council for 12 years.
But he had already battled six separate bouts of cancer and endured more than 40 operations in 13 years when he spoke to the Echo in February 2012.
Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh led the tributes.
“Councillor Underwood-Frost tirelessly worked for the people he represented," he said.
"His particular interest was education, improving local schools. It is thanks in large part to his input that local schools were kept in mind by local decision makers.
“I was very sad to learn of his death and send my condolences to his family and all those who were close to him. It will be a time of great sadness for those who worked along side him.
“With his background as a guardsman Chris was an example for many and he will be remembered.”
PCC Alan Hardwick remembered Mr Underwood-Frost as an "inspiration".
“Chris was a friend and an inspiration. His courage was humbling," he said.
"I first met him when he was a member of Lincolnshire Police Authority which he served on with the same dedication to the people of this County as he showed as a district and County Councillor.
"His heritage – particularly for education in the Gainsborough area was enormous.
"He was one of a kind; his zest for life was remarkable.
"My family and I, along with so many of the people that were privileged to know him, will miss him a great deal.”
Lincolnshire County Council lead Martin Hill also paid his respects.
"Chris was a one-off, always ready to challenge but also give you support and good advice when it was needed" he said.
"He made a valuable contribution to council matters over the years, particularly in the debates and committees in which he was involved and he was also a good friend and support to so many.
"Robust in his arguments, Chris vigorously stood up for his constituents in the council chamber and for what he believed was right.
"He has shown great strength and dignity in coping with a long illness and despite deteriorating health over the past few years, he always made great efforts to fulfil his council commitments.
"I'm sure I speak for all my fellow members and officers at the council, in saying we will miss him greatly as a colleague and friend."
Cllr Underwood-Frost had manned a number of roles at the county council, despite battling illness.
He was chairman of the Property and Capital Working Group between October 2003 and May 2005.
He then chaired the group which replaced it, until June 2009.
Mr Underwood-Frost also served as vice-chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, from June 2009 until earlier this year.
In May he became vice-chairman of the Community and Public Safety Scrutiny Committee.
He was also a member of the Improving School Meals Scrutiny Task Group in October 2005.
"I especially wish to acknowledge at this sad time, his immeasurable contribution to the Central Lincolnshire Joint Planning Committee," said Cllr Marion Brighton, vice-chairman of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee and Leader of North Kesteven District Council.
"He has been a key member from the committee’s very inception, bringing to fore his immense experience and skill within planning and local representation and of course his strongly-held views and convictions to shape the long-term plans which will enable the growth of Central Lincolnshire, which he felt so passionately about, for decades to come.
"As we move forward with these plans I know that they will form a fitting legacy and remembrance of his passion and dedication to public service.
"Despite being ill for a significant period of time he turned up, participated and contributed in his characteristic forthright manner.
"I respect him deeply for that and will fondly remember him for that.
"I offer my most sincere condolences to his family and colleagues at the county and West Lindsey councils.
"A large man in both stature and presence, he will be greatly missed."