Former Inverness depute provost Graham Ross has died, council officials have confirmed.
Mr Ross served as a member of the Highland Council for nine years.
He was elected to serve as a councillor for the Inverness West ward in 2012 and again in 2017.
In June 2017, he was appointed as deputy provost and leader of Inverness and Area.
Following years of service to his community, he resigned in May 2021 for family reasons.
‘He was a staunch supporter of his local community’
This evening, tributes have been pouring in from local representatives and organisations, describing him as a “gem” and a “gentleman.”
Highland Council officials have paid homage to Mr Ross and his commitment to his local community.
In a statement released on their website, they wrote: “He was a staunch supporter of his local community and proactively supported community development in his ward for many years.
“Among the many activities he did for his local community many will remember him hosting Charleston Community Summer and Christmas Fetes with microphone in hand; supporting the development of the Highland Wildcats American youth football team and taking part in annual community litter picks in his area.”
Accompanying his work as depute provost, Mr Ross was a member of many council committees, including, the City of Inverness and Area Committee, Adult and Children’s Service Committee, the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee; the Police Board, People Committee; Education Committee; and Highland Licensing Committee.
‘Rest in peace my friend. You made a difference’
Scores of people have spoken highly of Mr Ross online, praising his work and commitment to his local community.
Dave Conner grew up with Mr Ross in the Hilton area. He said he will be “forever grateful” for his support.
He wrote: “A great guy who I was privileged to call a friend for more than 50 years since our days growing up in Hilton.
“The great work he did over many years in Community Education and then in retirement as a Highlamd councillor benefitted Inverness in so many ways.
“I am forever grateful to him for his stalward support and help during my time as resident police beat officer for Kinmylies in the 1980s. Rest in peace my friend. You made a difference.”
Tracy Stronach added: “Graham was a gem and an absolute gentleman who loved to see both our kids and every other kid dance their wee hearts out as he himself was a dancer. Sleep tight GR. Dance your heart out up there you shining.”
Liz Young praised the former councillor for making time for every constituent.
She said: “So very sad `Graham was one in a million. He always made time for everyone. Nothing was too much bother for him. He will be sadly missed by an awful lot of folk.”
Members of the youth organisation Boys’ Brigade Highland also said they were “saddened” to learn of his death.
They wrote: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Graham Ross.
“Graham was an advocate for young people and a great support to us.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Graham’s family.”