Former Provost Pat Reid is standing down from Falkirk Council
A long-serving councillor and former Provost of Falkirk has announced his resignation, saying it had been ‘a privilege’ to serve the community for so long.
The resignation of Labour councillor Pat Reid – who was the Provost of Falkirk for ten years – brings to an end a connection that goes back more than six decades.
Mr Reid, 79, who has represented the Falkirk South ward since 2002, says there is “no bitterness” in his decision and that it was simply the right time.
He said: “I think there comes a time in your life when it’s time to go and for me that time has come along. It’s something I have been thinking about for a long time.”
And he admitted: “If it had not been for the pandemic, I might have gone a bit sooner.”
His connection with Falkirk Council extends back to 1959 when, still a boy, he worked in the mansion house on the site of the current municipal buildings at Westbank.
His career did take him to other places, including a spell in Canada, but he returned to Falkirk Council in 1972, eventually becoming head of administration.
He took what he “thought was retirement” in 2002 and had a brief spell “as a civilian”.
But in 2004, he stood as a Labour candidate in the by-election that followed the death of Councillor Jimmy Short.
In 2007, he became Provost – a position he held for ten years, winning praise for his dedication to the role.
As a councillor, Mr Reid has always tried to persuade others to reach consensus and colleagues say his knowledge has often been invaluable.
Looking back on his time as Provost and as a councillor he said that all of the district’s achievements were as a result of teamwork.
He said: “I have always found that with team work you get the most success, rather than one individual contribution.”
Mr Reid added that his decision will not mean he will disappear from public life, and he plans to continue to be involved with local groups and charities.
That includes being chair of Forth Valley Sensory Centre and being heavily involved with Friends of Dollar Park and in particular the war memorial.
In recent years, Mr Reid was part of a “really great team” who researched and raised funds to extend and refurbish Falkirk’s war memorial, adding the names of locals who died in the First and Second World Wars.
“That’s not quite finished,” he said. “We still intend to replace the steps leading up to the memorial and there are more names to be included since people have come forward to say their relatives’ names are missing.”
Mr Reid will now also happily spend more time with his wife Sandra and their many grandchildren.
“Being a councillor is time-consuming, if you do it properly,” he said.
“You are offering yourself up to be available to the public – and if you’re not, you should be!”
Mr Reid thanked the people he has served, saying simply: “It has been a privilege.”
With just under a year to go until the next council elections in May, Mr Reid’s decision to stand down will mean a by-election will need to be held.