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Shock as ‘Mr Somerton’ – Cllr Dean Ruddle – passes away aged just 59

‘MR SOMERTON’ – Dean Ruddle – has died at the age of 59.

The Somerset Council member – who was the authority’s lead on adult social care – is understood to have passed away at the weekend.

Known to his colleagues as ‘Mr Somerton’, Cllr Ruddle was elected to the former Somerset County Council in 2013 to represent the Somerton Division. He was re-elected to represent Somerton in 2017 and then again in 2022.

As well as being lead member for adult services at Somerset Council, he also served on the former county council as chair of the Audit Committee, and was also a member of its Regulation Committee and Scrutiny Committees.

He was chair of Somerton Town Council and a member of the council for more than 10 years, and had served on South Somerset District Council (SSDC), representing Wessex Ward.

While there, he served on Area North Committee and was vice-chair for the 2015/16 municipal year.

In February 2022 he also became a member of SSDC Regulation Committee.

Wife Rachael, on behalf of the Ruddle family, said: “We are distraught to say goodbye to our dearest Dean.

“He was the most caring husband, father, and grandfather you could have ever wish for.

“Our family’s wellbeing was always his highest priority in life.

“He was such a kind-hearted man who wanted the best for everyone around him. This was shown through his relentless efforts and achievements in Somerton, surrounding areas and in Somerset as a whole.

“From the minute he woke up to the minute he went to sleep he did all he could to create a better life for all that surround him. His phone records would prove this statement scarily true.

“Even when times were hard, his quick-witted personality and charming way lightened and managed each and every situation he was in.

“Dean’s unqualified love and beautiful heart leaves a memory that will live with us forever. His legacy will live on through our family; his four children and his 14 grandchildren.”

The news comes just days after the passing of former Glastonbury councillor and community stalwart, Alan Gloak MBE, who died on December 29.

Leader of Somerset Council, Cllr Bill Revans, said: “Dean was a remarkable advocate for his community, a great colleague, and a superb mate.

“He brought his business acumen to the role of lead member for adult social care since taking on that role in May 2023, but with it he has shown dedication and compassion to those residents of Somerset who are most in need of our support.

“I know we will all be devastated by this – colleagues, staff, friends, communities – as the news sinks in of his loss.

“Somerset Council’s sincere sympathies go out to Rachael and all of Dean’s family as they struggle to cope with this shocking news.

“Rest in Peace Mr Somerton. You will be so greatly missed.”

READ MORE: Tributes to former Glastonbury councillor Alan Gloak MBE

Cllr Mike Best, chair of Somerset Council, added: “Dean Ruddle’s passing is a huge loss to his family, friends, the local government family in Somerset and the wider community.

“He was such a dedicated and hard-working councillor and a great family man. We are all the poorer for his loss. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to his family at this very sad time.”

In July 2018, Cllr Ruddle hit the headlines when he resigned from the Conservative group at Somerset County Council amid concerns over the authority’s finances.

He rejoined the Tories in Somerset in February 2019.

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