Tributes have been paid to Dave Hill, 61, who died suddenly after serving as Surrey County Council (SCC)'s Executive Director of Children, Lifelong Learning and Culture.

SCC announced the death earlier this week (June 24) and on Friday (June 26) said they had opened a "digital book of condolence" for Dave and urged those who wanted to leave a message to email in their responses (see below).

SCC's Chief Executive, Joanna Killian, described Dave as "an amazing colleague and great friend" in a statement released by the county council.

"At the heart of it he was just a great guy whose passion in life was his family – wife Jo, and daughters Laurel and Lydia whom he adored – and doing the very best he could for vulnerable children.

"My heart goes out to his family and to all his colleagues and staff who I know will be as devastated as I am that we have lost this amazing, talented man," she said.

“His passion for doing the right thing by children and just getting things done shone through and he was the architect of the most brilliant transformation I have ever seen," Killian added.

SCC's Conservative Leader Tim Oliver, also paid his tributes: “I’m devastated to hear the news and all our thoughts at this time are with Dave’s family – his wife Jo and their two daughters.

“Dave was a tower of a man who was held both in respect and affection by those who worked with him at Surrey and across the whole of children’s services.

“He was thoughtful, inspirational, committed and self-deprecating. He will be irreplaceable," he said.

Dave Hill joined Surrey in April 2018, after having spent eight years as Director of Children’s Services at Essex County Council.

Prior to Essex he had served as Director of Children’s Services at Merton from 2005 to 2008 and at Croydon from 2008 to 2010.

To contribute to SCC's digital book of condolence, email: