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Glasgow City Council

Sudden death shocks councillors

Published Thursday 28th July 2017

Councillor Alistair Watson

Councillors expressed their shock and sadness after learning of the sudden death of a second colleague this week.

Councillor Alistair Watson (59), passed away peacefully at his home last night.  It follows the death, earlier this week, of former Depute Lord Provost, Councillor Gerry Leonard.

Alistair Watson, was a towering figure in local politics.   He had served the city as the Cardonald councillor for 22 years.  Working most recently as the former Labour administration's Business Manager. He also served as Convener of the council's high profile Land and Environmental Services Committee, and was a former Chair of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. A firm believer in co-operative values, he was also a member of the Co-operative Party.

Alistair had been a train driver. He was a proud and life-long ASLEF member and trade unionist. His transport background fuelled his passion to find strategic transport solutions for the city. He was committed to the delivery of Glasgow's Crossrail Project and the city's airport/rail link. Both remain Labour Group transport priorities.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Labour Group Leader, said: "The city has lost a major political figure. He was a shrewd politician and a champion for the people of Cardonald. On a personal level, I have lost a loyal friend. The Labour Party and family has lost a crusader who was always fizzing with ideas. A doer, who got things done to improve the lives of the people across this city, especially the people in his ward.

"Alistair was well-known for his combative nature in debate. However, he never let that affect relationships and always maintained cordial relations across the council. He was an approachable, decent and compassionate man who made a real difference. Always willing to go the extra mile for people seeking his help and support."

Council Leader Susan Aitken said: "Alistair was a political animal. He absolutely loved being part of the council and being involved in the business of the council. Nobody could surpass his knowledge of council procedure and protocols. He will be remembered for his formidable contributions to council debates. He loved the cut and thrust of politics.

"Personally, I've known Alistair for 20 years. Outside the debating chamber he was incredibly warm and gracious. I have many fond memories."

Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: "Alistair was a towering figure, physically and politically. An astute and seasoned politician. He had a significant and hugely influential role in local politics. My condolences go to his family."

Published Thursday 28th July 2017

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