TRIBUTES have been paid to Billy Barclay, the Highland councillor who died after falling ill while calving a cow on his farm.
Barclay, 62, died suddenly on Wednesday.
The independent councillor, who has farmed for many years at Boggiewell Farm in Fortrose on the Black Isle, was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after falling ill, but sadly died.
Highland Council leader Drew Hendry said: “Billy was hard working, well liked and respected by all those on the council and in his community where he worked tirelessly on issues which were important to the people who came to see him.
“He will be sorely missed, both by his colleagues and as a good friend to me and many. Our sincerest sympathies are extended to his family and close friends at this sad time.”
Councillor Carolyn Wilson, leader of the opposition, said: “Billy was an exceptional councillor, who cared passionately about the people of the Black Isle.
“He was a dear colleague – the best anyone could ask for – who provided sound advice to many over the years. He was a hands-on councillor.
“No matter whether it was a housing or a roads matter, or helping the young or the old, he got things done. He was a good friend, a good neighbour and most of all he was a family man, who lived for his wife, children and grandchildren.”
Depute leader David Alston, a fellow Black Isle Councillor, said his colleague had cared deeply about the area he lived in and would be remembered both for the great pride he took in farming its land and for his commitment to representing its people.
Convener Jimmy Gray said: “Billy’s intimate local knowledge made him an extremely popular and effective local councillor.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the care and attention Billy gave to Council business and of the courtesy and consideration he always showed to fellow councillors and Council staff.”
Mr Barclay was elected to Highland Council to serve Avoch and Fortrose in May 2003.
He was returned resoundingly to Ward 10 Black Isle in May 2007 and again in May 2012.
He served on the TECs Committee and took a great interest in roads and transport issues.
As a mark of respect, business at Thursday’s scheduled full council meeting was restricted to urgent business.
Monday’s scheduled meeting of the Skye, Ross and Cromarty Area Committee in Dingwall has been postponed.
He is survived by his wife Jennifer, sons Christopher, Mark and Stephen and daughter Paula.