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Leaders pay tributes

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Leaders pay tributes

THE leaders of all political groups on Dumfries and Galloway Council came together this week to say “RIP Ma’am” and commemorate the Queen’s 70 years of service to the country.

Stephen Thompson, Linda Dorward, Gail MacGregor and Richard Brodie all led tributes to Her Majesty at a special council meeting on Tuesday.

Speeches were also delivered by provost Tracey Little, several other councillors, and three members of the youth council, commenting on her past visits to the area, her unwavering commitment to the royal role, and they also welcomed King Charles to the throne.
SNP group head Stephen Thompson, council co-leader, said: “I wrote in my contribution in the book of condolence that the late Queen has been an exemplar of duty and diligence, fulfilling her role to so many people and for so many years.
“She has been a model for any civic leader to follow and has been worthy of the accolades that have been expressed.
“One that struck me – and one that maybe only makes sense in Scotland – is ‘she did better than good, she did no’ bad’.
“As His Majesty King Charles III is welcomed to the throne we may see a resonance with the many issues that are important to our region and this council: the importance of the countryside and the environment, concern about climate change, and a passion to provide practical support to help young people into employment.
“So, along with the new monarch, we look forward to supporting a shared endeavour of caring for the people of Dumfries and Galloway for many years to come.”
Labour group leader Linda Dorward, also co-leader of the council, said: “From a personal perspective, losing our Majesty for me is like losing a member of my family.
“She’s been there my entire life. The Queen was born in the same decade as my own mother, and I believe that having lived through the years of depression and World War II, these two women from entirely different backgrounds shared similar values shaped by these times.”
She added: “Prior to undertaking this role I was a civil servant working for the Scottish Prison Service, latterly as prison governor but initially in uniform.
“Uniformed staff in the prison service proudly wear ‘HMP, Her Majesty’s Prison’ on their epaulettes.
“We serve with pride and I was honoured to work for her. She was my ultimate boss and the best leader I could have.”
Conservatives group leader Gail MacGregor said: “She provided continuity in politics, which politics doesn’t usually allow for.
“And it’s a testament to her determination, duty, and service that she met with the new Prime Minister last week, only two days before she died.”
Councillor Richard Brodie, leader of the Independent group, said: “Our group has a wide and divergent range of views on politics, the monarchy, and society, but the one thing we all agree on is that our Queen did a fantastic job for our country over seven decades – and we will never see her like again.”
Dumfries and Nithsdale Provost Tracey Little added: “We look forward to working with His Majesty the King and trust that his involvement with Dumfries House means he has a good awareness of our town already.”


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