Former provost of Perth and Kinross
Born: May 21, 1942 Died: October 17, 2013
Bob Scott, who has died aged 71, was a politician and former provost of Perth and Kinross Council. He was born and raised in Perthshire and served the area his whole life, latterly as the civic head of the council in which capacity, he hosted the G8 Conference at Gleneagles Hotel in 2005.
He was born in Stanley and brought up in the village where his father worked in the famous Stanley Mills. He later moved to Luncarty and stayed there for the rest of his life. A large part of his working life was spent with the RAC where he rose from patrolman to superintendent with responsibility for the north of Scotland, the Highlands and Islands. During this time, he made a huge variety of friends and acquaintances.
In the 1990s, his career path changed and he entered politics. A dedicated Liberal and Liberal Democrat, he was successfully elected to Perth and Kinross District Council in 1991 for the Almond Valley ward which included Luncarty, his home village, and Methven.
He was also successful in being elected to Tayside Regional Council at a by-election in April 1993. The ward he represented covered a very large area from Methven to Dunkeld. When the elections were held for the new unitary council in 1995, Mr Scott successfully won the Strathord and Logiealmond Ward where he was re-elected until his retirement in 2007.
He served as the convener of Perth and Kinross Council's roads and transport committee from 1998 to 2002, a role which he relished. He had a hands-on approach to the convenership and could be found doing duties with the snow plough crews in mid-winter at Drumochter and acting as the co-driver for a ScotRail train between Perth and Inverness. He also championed the flood prevention scheme which was introduced to Perth during that period.
Following the 2002 council elections, he was unanimously elected as the first Scottish Liberal Democrat provost of Perth and Kinross and he served in the role until 2007. He acted as civic head, hosting the G8 Conference at Gleneagles Hotel in 2005. In 2007 he was appointed as a deputy lieutenant for Perth and Kinross and latterly held the post of president of Perth Civic Trust; he was also vice chairman of the local branch of the National Trust for Scotland. He was a Friend of the Far North Rail Line and an Officer of St John Scotland. He was an active member of the Order and took part in their work throughout Scotland.
His interest in maps led him to become a volunteer with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, both as a guide at their premises within the Fair Maids House in Perth. He also assisted with refurbishing and cataloguing the map collection in their archive. He was also a life member of the Friends of Perth and Kinross Archive.
He had a lifelong fascination with lighthouses and following his retirement from the council, took up the study of pharology, the science of lighthouses, both in Scotland and abroad. He rapidly gained an encyclopaedic knowledge of many lighthouses in Scotland, having visited every one in Britain, and further afield and was a popular lecturer on the subject. In addition, he was a much sought after speaker, reflecting on his life in local government.
He was an elder for his local church at Redgorton and Stanley for over 20 years and undertook the duties of Presbytery Elder for over ten years.
After his death, his younger sister, Anne Stewart, spoke of his sense of honour and privilege in being the civic head of Perth and Kinross Council.
The current Provost of Perth and Kinross, Elizabeth Grant, paid a warm tribute to her predecessor saying: "During his term, as well as laying the groundwork for Perth achieving city status, Provost Scott was an impeccable ambassador for Perth and Kinross. It was Bob who welcomed world leaders such as George Bush to Scotland at Prestwick Airport ahead of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005.
"Everyone at the council was saddened to hear the news that Bob had passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. He was an extremely dedicated and hardworking councillor and then provost for the area."
Councillor Peter Barrett, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader on Perth and Kinross Council, added his thoughts about his friend and former colleague. "One of many accolades paid to Bob was that he was a true gentleman and that sums him up entirely. He was kind and generous and committed to Liberal ideals but with both feet firmly planted on the ground. He was a great counsel; a calming influence but also a committed and effective politician on the pavement in this community and in council committees.
"Bob was highly respected across the political spectrum. As a sole nominee for the civic leader's post, he was unanimously elected as the first Scottish Liberal Provost of Perth and Kinross by councillors from all parties."
He is is survived by his sister Anne and her family.
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