Aberdeenshire councillor Fergus Hood, described as “kind”, “thoughtful” and “universally-respected”, has died after a prolonged illness.
Mr Hood, who was first elected in Aberdeenshire in 2007, represented the East Garioch ward, and had been chairman of the Garioch Area Committee since 2014.
He was 64.
Over his years as a councillor he was a member of the business services committee, the central Aberdeenshire licensing board, and he sat on the old education committee.
The Liberal Democrat has been described today by those in the Garioch Area team as a “fair and respectful man”, who had an “eye for numbers and detail”.
Flags will be lowered to half mast at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters today, tomorrow and on the day of Mr Hood’s funeral as a mark of respect.
Deputy council leader Peter Argyle paid tribute to his close friend and fellow Lib Dem colleague Mr Hood.
He said: “The passing of Councillor Hood – or Fergie as we knew him – is a deeply sad day for us all.
“I personally valued his counsel as a friend and a colleague, and he will be very much missed.
“He was the kindest and most thoughtful of men and he carried out his role with complete integrity.
“I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Fergie’s family and, in particular, his wife Kathy.”
Council Leader Andy Kille of the Conservatives said: “Councillor Hood was a kind and diligent man with an eye for details and numbers, and an engaging manner.
“He represented his constituents conscientiously and kept their issues close to his heart.
“I know he was also a keen aviation enthusiast, active in business and a person for whom religion played an important role.
“Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.”
SNP group leader Councillor Gwyneth Petrie said: “This is such sad news and I know we will all miss Councillor Hood deeply.
“Having worked with him over a number of years, he was always kind, respectful and readily available for advice or support.
“I am sure that there are many of our colleagues who benefited from his insight over the years.
“My thoughts are with his loved ones both now and in future.”
Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Bill Howatson said: “Councillor Hood was not only a colleague but also a good friend and I will miss him.
“We worked together for many years and he was an engaging and honourable politician.
“Fergie stood firm for what he believed in and was admired across Aberdeenshire.
“His insight will be missed, as will his support and friendship.”
The council’s chief executive Jim Savege added: “Officers and elected members work closely together on a near-daily basis.
“That is why having good working relationships is vital, but Cllr Hood took that to a new level. He was universally-respected by officers and colleagues and working with him was always a pleasure. “On behalf of the wider Aberdeenshire team I would like to also extend my thoughts to his family and loved ones.”
Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith, an Aligned Independent, said: ““I would like to pay my own personal tribute to Cllr Hood who was a kind individual, a passionate elected member and a good friend.
“He was a driven and engaging councillor who upheld the principles which we all hold dear and we worked closely together over a number of years.
“My thoughts are with his family at this time and I am thinking of him and them”.
Labour Councillor Alison Evison added: “Councillor Hood was a caring and committed councillor who was driven by strong personal values.
“He was always ready to offer support to colleagues and, in particular, to new councillors, and he will be remembered for the engaging stories he could recount.
“He will be missed as much by the people he represented as he will be missed in the council chamber.
“I send my sincere condolences to his family and many friends.”
And Democratic Independent and Green Group councillor Paul Johnston said: “Losing a colleague and latterly constituent of 18 years standing is difficult and losing him in the current circumstances is especially hard to process.
“My sincere condolences go out to his family and loved ones. Members and council officers will miss Fergie in equal measure and I send my deep condolences to everyone who knew and worked with him at this difficult time.”