It is with great sadness we announce that Cllr John Scholey passed away on Sunday (22 August).
John was dedicated to local government ensuring a better community and putting this ahead of his personal life, though he was a very much a family man and proud father to 4 children and 9 grandchildren. John was a man of integrity, was honest and did his very best for people. He was a scientist and had a long career with Unilever until his retirement.
John first became a Town Councillor in 1999, serving for over 22 years. He was Chairman of the Council from 2005 to 2007, and also served as Chairman of the Finance and Open Spaces Committees for several years. He had a remarkable head for finances being a key driver ensuring the Council’s finances were in safe hands and properly maintained. He developed the 5-year forward plan, budget planning and audit controls. He was a supporter of the town’s open spaces having a significant impact including the footpaths and Millennium Wood, and maintaining the Green Belt. His knowledge on planning policies and Sustainable Drainable Strategies (SuDS) was invaluable and key to the flood risk management and defence improvements for Edenbridge.
In 2007 John was elected as a District Councillor and remained in office until 2019. He was heavily involved in the new Mont St Aignan by-pass and was Finance Portfolio holder for SDC for a number of years. He was hugely respected at District Council and served on the Cabinet as one of its five members.
John was involved with a number of local organisations including Scouting, the Eden Valley Museum, Friends of Edenbridge Parish Church, and Tonbridge and Malling Conservative Association. He had a love of walking with his wife Gill and tending their allotment and garden, his surplus garden produce was often donated to the Edenbridge Food Bank. As a supporter for the retired he served on the Occupational Pensioners Alliance and Committee of Unilever Pensioners.
John leaves a fabulous legacy. He provided knowledgeable counsel to other councillors and officers, giving them confidence to go on to further their abilities, and some to become district councillors. We all have our own fond anecdotes of John and hold him affectionately in our heart.
Christine Lane worked with John for 18 years as RFO and Town Clerk and said, ‘he was a man of extremely high calibre, and I learnt a lot from him, especially his skills in handling difficult situations’.
Peter Lake, former Kent County Councillor, summed up John perfectly, he ‘was a thoroughly good egg, the nicest of persons, and a font of all wisdom’.
John was an extraordinary person as well as an exceptional councillor, and someone who touched not only everyone at the Council but also in the Community.
There will be private cremation service for the family. A memorial service will be held at a later date, further details to be advised.