Tributes to former provost Pat Reid after surprise resignation as Falkirk South set for by-election

Tributes have been paid to former Falkirk Provost Pat Reid, after his surprise decision to resign as councillor for Falkirk South sparked planning for an upcoming by-election.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:22 pm
Pat Reid

The former Provost told the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Thursday, July 29, that he had made the decision to step down simply because he felt it was “the right time” – and he pledged to continue working for local good causes that are close to his heart.

His decision will mean a by-election will need to be held within three months of his last day in post – August 2 – and Falkirk Council said a date for the vote is expected to be arranged next week.

Mr Reid has been the local councillor for Falkirk South since 2002. While the by-election will not significantly alter the balance of the council, the SNP will be keen to target the seat of the retiring Labour councillor to help boost their minority administration – while the other parties will also seek to bolster their opposition numbers.

The SNP leader of Falkirk Council Cecil Meiklejohn paid tribute to Mr Reid and how he always sought “political common ground” while his group leader also praised his “professionalism, integrity and dedication”.

Cllr Meiklejohn said: “The news that Pat has decided to stand down at this time has come as a surprise, but I wish him well in his retirement from the council.

“He was during his working life a well-respected officer of the council, and similarly as an elected member.

“He was a good Provost and a great ambassador for Falkirk and worked well with others across the political spectrum.

“Prior to the boundary changes in 2017, I was fortunate to have Pat as a ward colleague in the Falkirk North ward when elected in 2007.

“We worked well together despite our political affiliations, as we didn’t let that get in the way of doing the best for our constituents.

“I will miss Pat for his pragmatic approach often seeking the political common ground.

“He is very much a family man and hope that he will now have a bit more time to spend with his family – something that has become important to us all over the last 18 months.”

Mr Reid’s group leader, Robert Bissett, also had warm words for his colleague.

He said: “Pat Reid has been a good public servant having served the citizens of Falkirk as a council officer for many years.

“Having retired as a council officer he returned to the council on the other side of the fence as a Labour Councillor.

“Pat was Provost for 10 years and he carried out his duties with professionalism, integrity and dedication.

“His pragmatism and valuable insight will be missed within the Labour Group.

“I wish Pat, his wife Sandra and the family all the best for the future and on behalf of the Labour Group, I thank him for his commitment and contribution to the group, Falkirk Council and local Labour Party politics.”