The Provost of Falkirk Council, Tom Coleman, has died in hospital following a short illness.
Mr Coleman (73) was only appointed First Citizen in May following the local government elections.
He died in Forth Valley Royal Hospital yesterday.
He was first elected to Falkirk Council in May 1999 as an SNP councillor representing the Stenhousemuir and Larbert area. Latterly he represented Bonnybridge and Larbert.
Provost Coleman was appointed convener of the education and leisure committee in 2001, a post he held until 2007.
Between 2007 and 2017 he was on the opposition benches and was elected Provost earlier this year. He also held the post of portfolio holder for Economic Development.
He was the chairperson of Stirlingshire Educational Trust and a trustee of Torwood Castle Trust.
Provost Coleman was married to Irene and had three grown up children.
His career was in the financial services sector.
He was a graduate in history from Stirling University and enjoyed many interests, including classical music and walking.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council said: “We are all completely devastated by the shock news and it is particularly difficult to comprehend losing such a strong Scottish patriot on St Andrews Day.”
“Along with a senior colleague I visited Tom in hospital on Tuesday and was greatly saddened by his physical condition although his intellect was as sharp as ever.”
“Tom was a first class councillor and would have made a great Provost had fate been kinder and he been given the time to demonstrate that.”
“He was a fierce debater with a sharp wit and a keen mind, few could stand up to Tom Coleman in full flight.”
Depute Provost Ann Ritchie added: “It was one of the proudest moments of my life when I was appointed Tom’s deputy during the first meeting of the new Council in May of this year.”
“I have to admit to having been nervous about taking on that new challenge but Tom made it easy with his reassuring and thorough style.”