Tributes have been paid this week to a popular former Mearns councillor who has died, aged 79.
Tom Fleming was an Aberdeenshire councillor for nine years and had also previously served on the Mearns Community Council.
He was well known to communities in the Mearns through 40 years service with Reekie Engineering in Laurencekirk.
At the Mearns Community Council meeting on Monday night tributes were paid to Tom before the start of the meeting.
Mearns Councillor George Carr expressed his shock and sadness at the sudden death of his former colleague and friend.
He said: “My thoughts are very much with Tom’s family and friends at a time like this.
‘‘It is so unbelievable that he was active right up to the end and I have no doubt that is the way Tom would want to go.
‘‘He brought a much valued common touch to our discussions at the area committee and was always at his best when arguing a planning application on behalf of his constituents. His experience of a lifetime working in the agricultural sector was also much valued where rural matters were integral to decision making. He had a great commitment to the community and even after retiring as a councillor in 2012, he continued to pursue these passions.
‘‘What most of us valued and will greatly miss was Tom’s lively sense of humour and friendly disposition”.
Tom told us at the time he stood down: “I have enjoyed my term enormously as a councillor and it has been a privilege to serve my home territory.
‘‘I went into politics as a local man fighting for my constituents and I believe I have represented them to the best of my ability. The support I have had has been hugely rewarding and has made my time with Aberdeenshire Council very fulfilling. Serving the public can be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.”