A by-election could be held in Inverness following the resignation of a well-respected councillor.
Graham Ross, described as a “dedicated Invernessian” with an “immense knowledge” of local matters stepped down as Inverness West councillor and deputy provost earlier this week for family reasons.
Now the local authority is considering the potential timing of a vote to fill his seat.
The next local government election is scheduled for May 2022.
Mr Ross’s decision to resign for family reasons was reported in The Press and Journal on Wednesday.
Provost Helen Carmichael praised his work over the years at the Inverness area committee meeting today.
She said: “The value Graham brought to perpetuating community development and vibrancy within the city cannot be overestimated.
“Whether it was his supreme professionalism and knowledge of what makes communities work, or his amazing dedication as an Invernessian committed to improving his community, he delivered to the highest possible standard.”
‘His immense knowledge was a perfect fit’
Mr Ross, a former Inverness Royal Academy pupil, was elected to the Inverness West ward in 2012.
He worked in community education and went on to develop the Charleston Community Complex.
Mrs Carmichael said he “quickly gained the respect of all who came into contact with him”.
He was appointed as deputy provost/depute city leader for the City of Inverness in June 2017.
Mrs Carmichael commended his “valuable skills” in delivering on key roles within the city, including events and festivals and as chairman of the city area recovery group.
She added: “His immense knowledge was a perfect fit with his role as a key custodian of the Inverness Common Good Fund which he delivered as chairman of the Inverness common good fund sub committee”.
She went on: “On a personal note I could not have wished for a better depute as both provost and leader of the city.
“I thank Graham for all his work in support of city communities.
“He has set a very high standard for all of us to follow and will be greatly missed by councillors, officers and most importantly, by our city community, whom Graham so diligently served for many years.”
‘Truly admirable work”
Mrs Carmichael also mentioned Mr Ross’s work with Highland Disability Sports.
“Helping so many young people to gain confidence to manage life’s pressures is to be truly admired,” she added.
Council convener Bill Lobban said Mr Ross had been “a very conscientious and hardworking member both in his role as a ward councillor and as deputy provost and deputy city leader of Inverness”.