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Tributes have been paid to long time councillor and North Ayrshire & Arran Conservative Party Chairman, Richard Wilkinson, who died at the weekend.
Richard was first elected as a Strathclyde regional councillor in the 1970s, representing North Ayrshire and Arran before he joined Cunninghame District Council. On the national scene Richard was a member of the Conservative management board and was the Scottish conference chairman. He lived in West Kilbride but always had a soft spot for Arran.
West of Scotland Conservative MSP Jamie Greene said: ‘My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Richard worked tirelessly in the local community, not just in politics but in many other ways. He was well respected by those of all political persuasions and those of none, and will be missed by the local association. It’s a sad loss, no least personally, as he supported me patiently and enthusiastically these past five years. We will continue his good work in North Ayrshire and be grateful for having known him.
‘Behind the theatre of politics, every party has hard working folk who work their whole lives for their beliefs. Rest in peace Richard.’
Councillor Tom Marshall, Conservative group leader on North Ayrshire Council said: ‘Richard was a real gentleman and his hard work was greatly appreciated by all who knew. I have known him for a number of years and enjoyed working together to support and to help and Conservative party policies in North Ayrshire. One of his proudest moments was at the last local election when seven Conservative councillors were elected. It was in no small part due to him.
‘He will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to Victoria and Miles and his family.’
Dalry and West Kilbride councillor Todd Ferguson added: ‘I am deeply saddened by the news that our chairman, mentor and friend, Richard Wilkinson, has passed away.
‘Personally my family, and I, have known Richard since I was a child and he and Anne were regular visitors to our house during many hard fought campaigns. He will be sorely missed.
‘Had it had not been for his support, belief and mentoring I would never have considered standing for Council in the first instance. I owe him a great debt of gratitude for his sound counsel and steadying influence.
‘I have absolutely no doubt that the reason we have seven Scottish Conservative and Unionist councillors is entirely down to Richard’s leadership.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with Victoria and Miles during this difficult time.’
The late Richard Wilkinson (right) with MSP Jamie Greene. NO_B07wilkinson01