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TRIBUTE FOR LEADING SCOTS LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIB DEMOCRAT

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Cosla president Pat Watters has paid tribute to Liz Harris, Cosla's arts and leisure spokesperson and Fife Council ...
Cosla president Pat Watters has paid tribute to Liz Harris, Cosla's arts and leisure spokesperson and Fife Council opposition Liberal Democrat leader, following her death.

Mr Watters said: 'Liz was wholeheartedly committed to Scottish local government, the people of Fife and in particular the people within her ward of Brucefield and Nethertown.

'Her contribution to Cosla was both valued and respected and her dedication to, and interest in, the arts in Scotland was immeasurable.

'She was one of the nicest people you could meet and local government has lost a good colleague.

'I am personally very upset by this news and my thoughts are very much with her family at this sad time.'

A press release from Fife Council follows.

FIFE PAYS TRIBUTE TO COUNCILLOR LIZ HARRIS

Fife Council has reacted with great sadness to the news of the death of Liz Harris.

Miss Harris, 46, was leader of the Liberal Democrat group - the main opposition party on Fife Council. She died in the early hours of Monday morning after a brave fight against a serious illness.

Fellow councillors and colleagues have paid tribute to her many years of service to local government and the people she represented in the Brucefield Nethertown area of Dunfermline.

Vice-convener Andrew Paterson commented: 'It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with Liz. She gave many years of dedicated service to local government and has proved herself to be an inspiration to all who knew her. Our sympathies go out to her partner, family and many friends. She will be sadly missed.'

Acting leader of the opposition councillor Elizabeth Riches commented: 'Liz fought a very brave battle against her illness and I know my colleagues will join with me when I say how proud we are of her bravery.

'She was the leader of the largest Liberal Democrat group in Scotland and was a true Liberal Democrat - fighting for the rights of the individual. She dealt with everyone in the same straightforward and honest manner and I believe people valued her approach. She worked very hard for local people - the dual carriageway at Bothwell Street in the town is a direct result and testament of her determined nature.

'Her infectious laughter and real sense of fun won her many friends who will really miss her.'

Council leader Christine May echoed those sentiments adding: 'I held Liz in the highest regard. She was an exceptional opposition leader and would argue her point on those issues she felt important in a very principled and effective way.

'I valued her opinion as a colleague and a friend.'

Chief executive of the council Douglas Sinclair added his own tribute saying: 'Liz was a highly valued colleague and a real 'people person.' Her greatest strength was the way she worked to bring people together - a skill that brought her great respect throughout her career from the public, elected members and officers of the council.'

Liz began her career as a primary school teacher at Lynburn Primary School in Dunfermline before being elected to Dunfermline DC, representing the Brucefield and Nethertown ward, in 1984.

She stood as parliamentary candidate for Dunfermline East in 1987 and again for Dunfermline West in 1993. She was leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the district council until local government regorganisation in 1995.

Since 1999 Liz was the leader of opposition on Fife Council.

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