Huntingdonshire District Council praise courage of St Neots councillor battling with cancer

Steve Van der Kerkhove

Steve Van der Kerkhove - Credit: Archant

“I am looking forward to getting back soon.”

“I am looking forward to getting back soon.”

That was the message from Eynesbury Councillor Steve Van De Kerkhove after Huntingdonshire District Council agreed to allow him to remain as an elected member despite being unable to attend meetings for six months.

Cllr Van De Kerkhove was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and has since being undergoing treatment for the illness.

County and district councillor Mike Shellens said: “Steve’s moral is excellent most of the time but he recognises he’s in for the long haul. He is hoping to resume case work from home in the new year.”

The council heard at a special meeting, held on Tuesday, November 11, that “his family is cheerful and most of the time he is cheerful”.

At the meeting, councillors voted unanimously to extend his right to not attend meetings until the end of the municipal year.

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The district council’s executive leader, Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: “We can all send our sincere good wishes and prayers to Steve as he goes through a battle of a lifetime.

“Time in this chamber is for politics but tonight this is not one of them.”

Constituents have been reassured that they are still represented at district and county level by Councillor Derek Giles.

“I am already doing work for him on the county council – it is being handled but it is encouraging to hear words for Steve. Throughout this he has not lost his sense of humour,” added Cllr Giles.