Councillor and former mayor dies suddenly

Dr Ronen Basu, who represented Culverden ward for more than a decade, passed away on Saturday after being taken to hospital last week suffering from pneumonia.

The former consultant pathologist arrived in Britain in 1975 from Varanasi, India, and settled in Tunbridge Wells where he married his wife, Sue, in 1978.

Dr Basu was a pioneer in the medical field of Cytopatholgy [cellular pathology] and had worked for the World Health Organisation as well as at a number of hospitals in the South East, including Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury where he became the Clinical Director of Pathology.

He retired from practice in 2003 and was elected to the borough council in 2008. In 2013-2014, he became the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, and before he died he served as the Council’s Cabinet member for sustainability.

A keen gardener, Dr Basu had also been Chairman of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom, helping to revitalise the town’s fortunes in the competition, as well as working as a voluntary therapist at Hospice in the Weald, Pembury.

Council Leader Alan McDermott said of his Conservative colleague’s, passing: “Ronen was a very nice man, a good friend and always a pleasure to spend time with.

“He was very popular with his fellow councillors and staff at the Council and he will be missed by us all.

“His sudden death is a great loss and our thoughts and sympathy are with his wife Sue and his family.

“Working for the local community was very important to Ronen and he was one of the driving forces behind re-establishing the Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom campaign in the town which has gone on to win so many awards.”

Dr Basu, who was in his 70s when he died, is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sue.

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