‘Man for the people’ Tory stalwart dies

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A LONG-SERVING Edinburgh councillor, who was made an MBE in recognition of his work, has died in hospital.

Ian Berry, who was a Conservative councillor for 30 years, passed away at the Western General Hospital on Sunday evening.

Mr Berry, who served first on Lothian Regional Council and then as Edinburgh city councillor for Duddingston, was admitted to the hospital after a fall. He then suffered a short illness, before passing away peacefully his family said.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and three daughters.

Former colleagues paid 
tribute to Mr Berry as “a man for the people”.

The former councillor, who was born and raised in Portobello and took over his father’s ironmongers business on the High Street, was made an MBE in 2006 for services to local government.

He first took up a position as a councillor in 1977. After three decades of service, he retired so he could devote his time to caring for his wife.

Ken Ward, former regional councillor for Willowbrae and Mountcastle, said: “I am so sad to hear of Ian’s passing. I knew him all my political life. He was extremely hard working and a man of action. He was always had great determination when it came to solving the problems brought to him as a councillor. No matter how big or small the issue, you got action. He steeped himself in his work.

“He was a tremendous colleague to me and we enjoyed our politics. He was, as he used to say in his election literature ‘a man for the people’,” added Mr Ward.

Former Conservative group leader Daphne Sleigh said Mr Berry played a key role in ensuring the transition from Lothian Regional Council to Edinburgh City Council in the 1990s.

She said: “He was a very supportive and trustworthy colleague and very knowledgeable. You would be very lucky to have someone like him in your group. He was good for cementing the group and always very supportive. He was someone I could trust wholeheartedly.”

Councillor Allan Jackson described Mr Berry
as “a respected member of the council”.

“Ian was a larger-than-life character with a wry sense of humour but very able at dealing with political matters in the council,” he said. “He was also dedicated to serving his constituents and the area he represented – I still use his methods to this day.

“He was our group secretary and was very supportive and helpful when I became the Conservative group chairman. Ian was a good friend to everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.”

A statement from his daughters said: “Ian worked tirelessly for his constituents and enjoyed working alongside his highly-regarded colleagues, many of whom became dear friends.

“He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his wife, Sylvia, daughters Veronica, Cynthia and Clarissa, his six grandchildren and all his friends.”

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