Leading political and community figures have been paying tribute to veteran former Levenmouth Labour councillor, Joyce Smith.
Miss Smith, who was 77, died yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at her Methil home.
She had represented the Methil, Mountfleurie and Methilhill areas as a councillor for a quarter of a century, before retiring eight years ago.
A former trade union stewards’ convener, Miss Smith was a Labour Party supporter from the age of 16 and was elected to the former Fife Regional Council in 1982.
She served on the education and social work committees and represented COSLA on SCOTVEC for many years, which saw her become the first fellow of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
Miss Smith retired on the eve of the local council election in 2007 but said she would always be there for anyone locally who needed help or advice, adding it had been “an absolute privelege to represent the people of Mountfleurie, Kirkland, Methil North and Methilhill”.
Former Prime Minister and Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath MP Gordon Brown said; “Joyce Smith made a massive contribution to public life in Fife, not just as a local councillor but as a champion of education for all Fife’s children.
“She was a committed trade unionist and a fearless campaigner for social justice. She put the needs of her constituents first and was most notably outspoken throughout all her life when it came to standing up for the National Health Service.
“On a personal note, she stayed in touch with me and has been a loyal friend to my family over many years.”
Cowdenbeath MSP and former Fife Council administration leader Alex Rowley added: “I am saddened by the news of Joyce’s death but privileged to have known and worked with her in the Labour movement over many years.
“Joyce was a very special woman who called a spade a spade and was never one to go with the flow but always stood up for what she thought was right. She was passionate about the communities she served and was as equally passionate about the education of young people and the care for people in our health and social care system.
“A committed socialist, her contribution to public service, to Fife and to people, is to be celebrated. I admired her immensely and I am a better person for knowing her.”