town saddened over death of “a true gent”

Man of the people - George Leslie
Man of the people - George Leslie

POLITICIANS from all parties have expressed their sadness at the death of long-serving former councillor George Leslie.

Mr Leslie (74), who only retired from politics due to ill health at the last election in May, after serving the east of Kirkcaldy for almost 40 years, died after a fall at at his home last Thursday evening.

Councillors from all parties united in a minute’s silence at a meeting of the Fife Licensing Board, of which he used to be a member, when they remembered one of their longest serving councillors – a caring man who served the public and the SNP unfailingly for almost four decades.

George, who ran his own building company for many years until he retired, was elected as a councillor on Kirkcaldy District Council in 1977 and continued to serve the people of Smeaton for many years, standing for the SNP at almost every council election. After losing out in the very first Fife Council elections in 1995, he refused to give up, and stood again, being re-elected in 1999 to represent Kirkcaldy East, a seat he held until he retired in May.

After undergoing a heart bypass operation he fought back to health, going on to run a half marathon in Glenrothes, an achievement he was very proud of.

Mr Leslie is survived by Doreen, his two daughters Michelle and Jacqueline, sons Mark and Craig, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Councillor Peter Grant, SNP leader, said: “George represented the SNP at nearly every council election during the last 40 years, always believing it was better to stand and lose for what he believed in than to give up on his principles.

“When I was first elected to Kirkcaldy District Council in 1992 George was already a veteran campaigner. He won back the seat he had lost a few years earlier and despite being unsuccessful in the Fife Council elections in 1995 he came back with typical resilience to regain his seat in 1999.

“George was a fearless and tenacious advocate for his constituents and fought tirelessly on their behalf. His constituents will long remember the sacrifices George and his wife Doreen, made for them over so many years.”

His funeral will take place at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on July 3.