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Tributes paid to former Fife Provost, John Simpson, who has died aged 90

Former Fife Provost John Simpson.
Former Fife Provost John Simpson.

Tributes have been paid to Fife’s former Provost, John Simpson, who has died at the age of 90.

Mr Simpson, who was elected as Provost back in 2004, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 23, in a Cowdenbeath care home, and those who knew him have been reflecting on a career in local government that spanned an incredible five decades.

Serving first on Cowdenbeath Town Council, Mr Simpson was elected as a councillor in 1962 and went on to serve on Dunfermline District Council as leader and then Fife Council where he served as finance chair before being elected as Fife Provost and then retiring from the council in 2012.

Tributes to Mr Simpson have been led by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who said: “John Simpson loyally served the community as a conscientious and dedicated councillor.

“His public service will be long remembered by many who have reason to be grateful for his contribution to our community life.”

Mr Simpson (centre) pictured at the launch of the Fife Coastal Path in the early 2000s alongside Jim Leishman, who went on to hold the chain of office himself.

Close friend and Fife Labour MSP Alex Rowley, who served as a councillor with Mr Simpson, also paid tribute to such a great civic servant.

“John was a man that never minced his words, he was honest and a straight talker who stood up for what he believed in, based on his values of social justice and fairness,” Mr Rowley said.

“There were many achievements that you could associate with John but I think most important was his drive to see the council housing stock improved and new housing built.

“He believed it was the right of every person to have a roof over their head and was a passionate fighter for decent quality housing for all.

“John was a driving force behind the former District Councils housing renovation programmes in the 80s and 90s.

“He also drove the development of the Cowdenbeath Leisure centre and then went on to serve as Fife Provost with great distinction.

“John was a socialist campaigner who fought for people and made a difference to people’s lives.”

 

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