The Leader of Kent County Council, Roger Gough, said:
“It is with the very deepest sadness that we announce the death of our Chairman Ann Allen MBE.
“Everyone at Kent County Council who knew Ann, whether as a fellow Member, corporate parent, champion of young people, or simply a friend, is devastated by the news that she has passed away.
“Ann’s devotion to her role as a county councillor, and in particular her passion and commitment to children and young people, was unparalleled. She was greatly loved and will be sorely missed.
“Her dedication as a corporate parent was never just about fulfilling a role. She genuinely cared so deeply about every child she had a role in providing care for and safeguarding. She epitomised the very best of what a county councillor is and can do.
“Ann represented the whole council in her very successful terms of office as Chairman of the council. She took on the role of Chairman for the second time in May this year and was bringing to it all of her usual enthusiasm, her wonderful sense of humour and her desire to meet as many people and organisations across Kent as she possibly could.
“A retired catering officer for the Dartford Hospitals and a former foster carer, Ann was named “Woman of the Year” for her services to the community in 1994. Two decades later she was made an MBE for her services to the community in Dartford and Wilmington.
“She was first elected to the county council in 1997 and has been a member of Wilmington Parish Council since 1983 and Dartford Borough Council since 1987. She was utterly committed to Wilmington, to Dartford and to Kent.
“At KCC she held the post of Chief Whip for more than 10 years and was for a time Deputy Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education. She also chaired the Corporate Parenting Panel, displaying her deep and intensely personal commitment to the children and young people in Kent County Councils’ care.
“Ann’s passions included her family, and she was immensely proud of her grandchildren. She also loved her garden and baking wonderful cakes.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to her family at this very sad time.”