Whitley councillor Jim Hanley died suddenly on Friday morning.
Anyone who reads my blog is probably aware of this as it's been all over the local blogs and getReading.
It's also why I haven't posted anything since Thursday. What do you say when something like this happens?
Jim was a passionate and kind ward colleague. Whenever we were out and about in the ward, whether electioneering, going to a community event or just walking down the street he was so friendly and approachable. I don't think I ever saw him lost for words. Having said that he had strong political beliefs and was prepared to stand up for them. He also consistently stood up for Whitley residents. Combining that with his detailed knowledge of planning meant he was a great asset to the council. This is such a sad loss to Trish and to the Labour party and also to the wider community.
Many others have had more to say and said it better. Once the immediate shock goes I'm sure there will be a more formal tribute from the Labour party in Reading and others.